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How To Research | Corporate Directories | Company News

How To Research Companies

Research on the Web
The Virtual Chase site, while subtitled Legal Research on the Internet is actually for anyone interested in doing corporate research using the web. There are articles on specific research issues and topics, annotated guides (including researching companies and securities, as well as legal information). An eight-step research process is offered, with appropriate links. The main site also offers course materials from two summer 1998 workshops: Internet Skills and Strategies for the Legal Researcher and Government Resources on the Internet. Finally, check out the article linked in the sidebar menu, IQ (Information Quality): A Checklist for Determining the Value of Information Retrieved from Internet, with hyperlinked examples, should be required reading for anyone reading this description.

Researching Companies
LibrarySpot is renowned for the excellence of its resources, and this brief tutorial with links is no exception.

The Spire Project: Company Information
This Web site is a guide to researching information. It provides a discussion of search strategies and covers many topics such as finding patents, company information, software, and statistics. It also covers many information sources including discussion groups, governmental sources, commercial databases, and magazines. Links are provided for Internet resources and specialized search engines. There are some non-Internet resources as well.

U.S. Census Bureau NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)
Many corporate information directory sites provide the ability to search by either the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes or the newer NAIC system. This site, provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, translates SIC codes into the new NAICS codes and vice versa. The new NAICS system will replace Canada, Mexico and the United States’ separate classification systems with one uniform system for classifying industries. In the United States, NAICS will replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. The U.S. will start implementing NAICS this year, with the Census Bureau’s 1997 Economic Census.

Corporate Directories

American City Business Journals: Bizjournals
American City Business Journals Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers, serving 40 of the country’s most vibrant markets. Bizjournals is the new media division of American City Business Journals, the nation’s largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers. It operates the Web sites for each of the company’s 41 print business journals. Scroll down to search or click on advanced search. Useful for information on private companies.

IRIN: Annual Report Research Center
The Investor Relations Information Network (IRIN) provides a single point of reference for accessing electronic annual reports—considered by many investors to be the most valuable means of communication between a company and its shareholders. More than 10,800 current and historical annual reports are available for viewing and printing. Search free, full-text, Abobe Acrobat format reports by ticker or alphabetically by company name. Covers ’99-current year (most companies).

Annual Reports: Public Register’s Annual Report Service
This free service lets you order annual reports on more than 3,600 public companies. Although you can also request documents through an 800 number, the Web site is more convenient, because you can request reports for multiple companies. You can browse company names alphabetically or by industry. The service is only available for U.S. addresses and you need an e-mail address.

Case Study Help
Arranged by company, provides authoritative info: overviews, financials, news. Details basic principles of SWOT analysis.

CEO Express (CEOX) of Corporate Information
Enter the company’s name in the search box and it provides stock reports, stock graphs, company information and more. It also provides comparison data for competitors. Good for analyzing how the company is faring financially. Has nice list of other profiles available on the web.

SEC EDGAR Database of Corporate Information
SEC Corporate Filings by Public Companies—a complete set of links to filings and forms.

EDGAR Guide to Corporate Filings (in .pdf format)
An annotated listing of all corporate filings required by the SEC; very useful for making sense of the plethora of forms appearing in the EDGAR database.


The above links are related to the EDGAR database. EDGAR is the database of public company filings maintained by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC requires all public companies (except foreign companies and companies with less than $10 million in assets and 500 shareholders) to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Be very careful, though: a number of commercial sites use the EDGAR name, but their domain name ends in .com, and they charge fees or subscriptions to access the same data, albeit sometimes with value-added formats.

Forbes Private Companies
Since 1980 Forbes has been surveying America’s privately-held companies.

Forbes The World’s Leading Public Companies (Global 2000)
The Forbes Global 2000 are the biggest, most powerful listed companies in the world. These global giants usually reorder themselves at a glacial pace but sometimes, as with the volatile financial sector of late, with more abruptness. Extreme vagaries of business or poor performance can take them off the list entirely. In any case, our composite ranking is the best snapshot of just how these titans compare. As we show, the corporate dominance of the developed nations is steadily receding. With respect not just to size but to what investors care most about, see our Global High Performers, an elite list of companies that set the pace in their respective industries.

Fortune Magazine Company Lists
Quick and easy access to all of Fortune Magazine’s highly regarded business lists. Includes the Fortune 500 (ranks companies by revenue), America’s Most Admired Companies, the 100 Best Companies to Work For, the Fortune e-50 (for Internet companies), America’s Fastest Growing Companies, the Global 500, and America’s Best Companies for Minorities.

Hoover’s Online
Search For Specific Companies, view Industry Directories, locate key decision-makers, et al. More in-depth reports are available for a fee.

The INC. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies in America
Each year in mid-October, Inc. magazine releases its Inc. 500 issue, which lists the fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies. Searchable by name, keyword, state, sector or industry. A new Interactive Demographics search feature enables you to break out companies by several variables at once.

ThomasNet (formerly Thomas Register of American Manufacturers)
Over 171,000 companies and their products.

Wright Research Center
Detailed analyses of over 31,000 companies. Company analysis, stock price data and earnings information with ten years’ worth of data, and links to Yahoo! and Raging Bull message board traffic regarding each company. Even company patents are searchable from this site.

Company News

Automotive News
Crain Communications’ primary digital source for U.S. automotive industry information.

Bloomberg News
A premier site for financial news and information. Use the archives to search for stories back to 1995.

Business Wire News
A searchable database of news releases, updated hour by hour.

CNN Money
CNN’s online business center. Provides links to breaking stories and current market coverage.

The online version of Crain’s Detroit Business Weekly, chock-full of news and stories about Detroit Area businesses.

PR Newswire
A source of news releases for companies worldwide. Provides immediate news as well as an archive of company announcements.

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