The Internet offers many sources of free company information. Things to remember:
- Make sure you can trust the source (see Thinking Critically about Web 2.0 and Beyond ).
- Check that the information is current (check date; use View/Page Info or File/Properties).
- Have a research strategy or plan (determine the steps to take & have a "shopping list").
A research strategy is important, so that you do not waste time collecting the same or similar information from many sources, while still missing some information that you really need.
Information Provided by the Company
The Company Web Site
- Sometimes, it's simple - just type the company name in the location or address box. For example: nike.
- Or check for company Web sites using online directories. Ex: ThomasNet.
Go Beyond the Marketing Glitz. Look for Links to:
- About the Company -- expect to find - Mission, Product Description.
- Corporate/Company Overview -- expect - Brief History of the Corporation.
- Company News -- expect - Press Releases, Earnings Announcements.
- Investors' Information -- expect - Shareholder Assistance, Financial Statements.
Read Company's Reports to the Securities & Exchange Commission
- EDGAR database has company reports which contain financial data and company plans.
Click: Search Companies and Filings. Then type company name in Company name box. Ex: nike.
Click: Find Companies. (If a list of several companies appears, select your company from this results list).
Click on latest 10-K. Use Edit/Find in Page to find specific information in the report. Ex: balance sheet.
External to the Company
- A Hoover's Online "Capsule" is free on the Internet. For example: nike.
- A Yahoo! Finance gives a business summary and statistical profile. For example: Nike.
- MarketWatch. Type company name or ticker in top box. Then click News on menu bar. Ex: NKE for Nike (Ticker look-up is available).
- CNN Money. Type company name or ticker in top box. Then click News on menu bar. Ex: Nike.
Latest Stock Quote
- CNBC MSN MoneyCentral Stock Research. Type company name or ticker symbol in box, click GO.
For example: Nike Lycos Finance - includes analysts' recommendations
For example: Nike.
Financial Analysis - for serious investor needs
- Wall Street Research Net (now Internetnews.com) is a good portal for stock market data on companies.
- Zacks Investment Research provides extensive analysis including financial ratios
Enter ticker NKE. For example: Nike.
Business Information Portals - for additional business research on the Internet
- Academic Info - Business: Reference Desk
- BEOnline (Library of Congress)
- CEO Express
- Corporate Information
- Librarian's Index to the Internet - Business
Web Content Developer: Eloisa Gomez Borah. Page last modified August 12, 2009.
Need help? Consult a Business Research Librarian.