This guide overviews how to locate company reports.
Before you begin your search, determine if your company is public or private. Private companies are not required to report financial information (annual report/10K) therefore the data available may be limited. Read your assignment closely to ensure that the company you choose---and the amount of information available---meets the assignment requirements.
If you plan to research a private company, you may need to piece together information from many different types of sources, such as general industry reports, news articles, press releases, or personal interviews.
Publicly traded companies in the U.S. are required to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Of these documents, the Annual Report and the 10-K (for domestic companies) and the 20-F (for foreign companies) can provide a wealth of knowledge about a company. These financial statements are designed to inform the public (shareholders, investors, analysts, etc.) about the performance of the company.
Companies will host these reports on their corporate websites (be aware that these sites may differ from their user-facing websites). When navigating these websites, look for an “About," “Company Information,” "Financial Reports," or “Investor Relations” link. If you are having trouble finding your company's public records, reach out to a librarian for help.
Example: Boeing Financial Reports
You can also find 10-K and 20-F reports in the SEC database, EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval):
In Canada, there is no federal agency that regulates all security and exchange matters. Instead, this is done at the provincial and territorial level. You can find a list of those regulators here:
If you would like to search for data across these regulators, the database SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) provides access to most public securities documents and information filed by companies across Canada. You can access it here:
One particular item to look for is the AIF or Annual Information Form. The AIF discloses comprehensive business and financial information about the issuer during the most recently completed fiscal year.
Like Canada and the U.S., most countries have some form of regulatory agency that handles securities and exchange. You can find a list of these regulators by country here:
Clicking through to the applicable agency page in Wikipedia will often provide you with the regulatory body’s website, where you can search for the annual report or 10-K equivalent for that country.
CityU Library subscribes to a number of specialized business databases that carry high-quality company reports. Keep in mind that you may have to search in multiple databases to determine which database offers the most relevant and substantial reports for your company or industry.
Pro Tip: Two key pieces to look for in a company report are SWOT analyses and top competitors. You can find more in-depth how-to guides for finding these items here:
Magazine, journal or news articles on your company adds recent data on trends, consumer behavior, advertising, mergers, pricing, etc. Articles are especially useful for finding information about private companies. You can find this type of information by searching the following databases:
When searching, combine your company name plus any relevant keywords. Make sure to limit your search by date and source type using the filters (located on the left-hand side of the results screen).
Looking for news and information on local, Seattle-area businesses? Check out Puget Sound Business Journal via the National Business Journal Portal linked above.
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