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How to Find U.S. Corporate Data


The following guide is intended to help you to locate company information both within the HSU Library, as well as to find information on the World Wide Web. It lists both print and online sources. If you want additional help in learning about the HSU Library and/or how to do basic research, please consult Online Workshop for Library Skills (OWLS).

You can either move through this guide sequentially by paging or scrolling down, or go directly to
section(s) you are interested in by clicking in the table of contents.

Items which are especially useful have a check mark next to them.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction: Before you begin
Basic Information-Directories
Company Profiles and Brief Histories
Current News and Background Information
Financial Information
Company Web Sites
Internet Resources for Company Information
For More Information...

INTRODUCTION

Before beginning research on a company, you will need to answer two questions:

Once you have answered these questions, it will be possible to begin your search for corporate information. Keep in mind, however, that much of the information in some of the print sources is not available for free on the web and so you may need to come into the Library if you cannot find what you want on the web.

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BASIC INFORMATION - DIRECTORIES

Use these to determine whether or not a company is publicly traded and whether or not it is a parent company. Directories also show competitors in the same industry grouping, which is useful for finding comparative data with which to analyze a private company. If your company is private, you should examine information on the publicly traded competitor closest in size (either by sales or by numbers of employees). It is also possible to find information on private companies by reading news stories about them.

Items which are especially useful have a check mark next to them.

California Manufacturer's Register (ref T 12 D48)
Lists California manufacturers alphabetically, by industry, and geographically.
Hoover's Online
12,000 public and private U.S., as well as some international companies, can be searched in this excellent company information site. [For HSU users only, Hoover's Company Record covers more than 40,000 public and non-public companies in addition to providing in-depth industry and company information.]
Mergent Online
Business, finance, and company sources - 15,000 U.S. public companies and 20,000 non-U.S. companies. Available for HSU users only.
ThomasNet
The most comprehensive listing of U.S. manufacturers. Can be searched by company name, product, geographic region.
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COMPANY PROFILES AND BRIEF HISTORIES

Items which are especially useful have a check mark next to them.

Company Profiles for Students (ref HG 4057 A27 vol. 1-2)
These two volumes provide information on 280 contemporary public and private U.S. based and signficant foreign-owned companies.
Directory of Obsolete Securities (ref HG 4961 D56)
Contains brief profiles of banks and companies whose original identities have been lost following a merger, acquisition, dissolution or bankruptcy.
Hoover's Online
Includes information from all of the three previous Hoover titles. (12,000 public and private U.S. as well as some international companies can be searched in this excellent company information site.) [For HSU users only, Hoover's Company Record covers more than 40,000 public and non-public companies in addition to providing in-depth industry and company information.]
LexisNexis Academic
To search for your company, click on Business, then Company Profiles. Available for HSU users only.
Mergent Online
Business, finance, and company sources - 15,000 U.S. public companies and 20,000 non-U.S. companies. Enter company name in company name box, then select tear sheets for very nice brief summary of your company. Available for HSU users only.
Moody's Handbook of Common Stocks (ref HG 4905 M815) Updated quarterly.
Provides brief basic financial and business information on about 950 high interest companies registered on the New York Stock Exchange.
Moody's Industrial Manual (HG 4961 M67)
Library has 1952-1975; good for historical data.
Research Centers and Services Directories
Contains detailed descriptions of some 26,500 U.S., Canadian, and international university-related and other nonprofit research organizations established on a permanent basis and carrying out continuing research programs in a comprehensive range of studies. Available for HSU users only.
Stock Exchanges
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) - site of the world's largest equities market (with a total market capitalization of more than $12 trillion). This web site is intended as an educational tool for investors, students and teachers. It includes a daily market summary, a catalog of publications that can be ordered online, news, descriptions of some of its educational programs, market statistics and links to U.S and international companies listed on the NYSE.
  • American Stock Exchange (AMEX) - the primary marketplace in the United States for equities, options and derivative securities. The Amex trades more than 900 issues on its primary list. In the options market, the Amex trades options on 29 broad-based and sector indexes and on 896 stocks and 103 Long-term Equity AnticiPation Securities (LEAPS). In addition, the Amex is a leader in listing warrants on foreign currencies and indexes, as well as hybrid instruments and other structured products. This site offers news, market summaries, quotes and more.
  • Nasdaq - this site has market news, company news, charts on company performance, links to SEC filings, company web sites, links to U.S. and international exchanges. In the company fundamentals section, it is possible to find a beta for a company. In the company summary quote, it is possible to find a beta for a company. Information is available for companies on all the exchanges, not just those which file with Nasdaq.
Value Line Research Center
Stock market, statistics, economics - 1,700 stocks, over 90 industries. Select either Standard Edition or Plus Edition, type in either name or ticker symbol for your company. Available for HSU users only.
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CURRENT NEWS and BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Newspaper and periodical articles can provide extensive and varied types of information on companies--for example, historical background, new ventures, marketing campaigns, analyses of financial situations, and biographical profiles of key executives. Articles are often the best way to locate information on private companies.

To find articles use the newspaper and periodical indexes listed below. Some indexes are available in book form, on a computer available either in the Library or by dialing in, or for free on the web. There is often some overlap among the various indexes, but each has a unique scope of coverage; therefore, it is useful to check a number of indexes for information on your company. Some of the indexes available via computer from the HSU Library may be restricted to HSU users only so be sure to notice if such a statement is in the description of the index.

Many of the electronic databases provide the full text of newspaper and periodical articles online. However, some indexes provide only citations to articles; others include an abstract (i.e. summary) in addition to the citation. You will need to print out the citation and locate the issue of the periodical you need. To do this, check for the title of the periodical (not the article) in the Journal and Newspaper Finder. This list will tell whether or not we hold the title in print or electronically. Where it is available electronically, it will also be possible many times to link through to the article. Where we have only print, issues of periodicals to which HSU subscribes can be obtained from the Periodicals Section in the Library. Issues which are not available may be requested from Interlibrary Loan by HSU users.

Items which are especially useful have a check mark next to them.

ABI/INFORM, 1971-
Index to business, trade, and management topics from 1,500 US and international periodicals. Includes fulltext of 760 periodicals. Available for HSU users only.
Business Periodicals Index, 1958-present
Provides citations to articles in business periodicals. Annual cumulations only. Online equivalent (available for HSU users only) is in OmniFile Full Text Mega. In the Subject Area search box, click on Business (complete).
Christian Science Monitor Index, (1987-1996) (abstr AI 21 C46)
Also available for HSU Users only on LexisNexis Academic (1/80-present). Click on Sources, type in Christian Science Monitor, click on Search this title. A dialog box will come up and you can enter your topic or company name. The electronic version of the Christian Science Monitor can be searched for free.
Factiva
Includes the fulltext of approximately 9,000 journals, trade magazines, and wire services from 22 countries. Click on Companies/Market  and then Companies to update company information; to find some business and trade journal articles, a list of competitors company. Available for HSU users only.
LexisNexis Academic
You can find annual reports, newspaper and periodical articles, and other financial information in this online service. For news, click on the News tab and follow directions. For financial information on a company, click on the Business tab and select from the various menus. Available for HSU users only.
Los Angeles Times Index, (1972-1985) (abstr AI 21 L68)
Also available for HSU Users only on LexisNexis Academic (1/85-present). Click on Sources, type in Los Angeles Times, click on Search this title. A dialog box will come up and you can enter your topic or company name. To search the archives of the electronic version of the Los Angeles Times, you must register, but registration is free.
New York Times Index, (1851-2001) (abstr AI 21 N44)
Also available for HSU Users only on LexisNexis Academic, (6/80-present). Click on Sources, then Find Sources, enter the name of the paper in the dialog, select it and you can then begin your search. To search the online edition of the New York Times, you need to register, but registration is free.
ProQuest Newsstand
Extensive collection of U.S. and international news sources, which includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. and international newspapers such as The New York Times and the Times of London, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires. Available for HSU users only.
San Francisco Chronicle Index, (1976-1996) (abstr AI 21 S25)
Also available for HSU Users only on LexisNexis Academic (10/89-present). Click on Sources, type in San Francisco Chronicle, click on Search this title. A dialog box will come up and you can enter your topic or company name. The electronic version of the San Francisco Chronicle can be searched for free.
Wall Street Journal Index, (1958-1996) (abstr AI 21 W35)
Wall Street Journal Abstracts is available on LexisNexis Academic, (5/73-present). Click on Sources, type in Wall Street Journal Abstracts, click on Search this title. A dialog box will come up and you can enter your topic or company name. Fulltext of WSJ and index is available in Factiva. Click on News Pages. You will need to select the Wall Street Journal by selecting it from the alphabetical list under Select Source Category and then following the on-screen instructions. You can select the time period for when the article was written by using the date drop down dialog box. Both of these online files are available for HSU users only. The interactive edition of the Wall Street Journal is available for registered paying users only.
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FINANCIAL INFORMATION

DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS. Disclosure statements (i.e. financial reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission or sent to a company's shareholders) provide extensive financial information, along with narrative discussions. These statements are available for public companies only, as private companies generally are not required to file them. In addition, subsidiaries and divisions of public companies are not required to file with the SEC; therefore, you should look for statements from the parent company.

EDGAR
Database from which you can retrieve electronic SEC filings (including 10K's, 10Q's, Annual Reports which are included in 10K's and Prospectuses) for all publicly traded U.S. corporations as well as some foreign registrants who choose to submit their information. Only domestic firms are required to file electronically. Reports from 1994-present are available.
EdgarScan
Developed at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Technology Centre, EdgarScan helps company researchers effectively sort through the mass of quarterly (10-Q) and annual filings (10-ks) housed at the SEC EDGAR Database. Filings and initial public offerings may be searched by company name or industry code, and search results are listed in an easy-to-read format with hypertext table and Excel spreadsheet output possibilities.
LexisNexis Academic
Annual reports can be found by selecting the Business tab and then Sec Profiles. Available for HSU users only.
Internet
See the Company Information section for additional sources of annual report information.

SECONDARY SOURCES FOR FINANCIAL INFORMATION. It is sometimes more convenient to use secondary sources for financial information as they bring together important financial information on many companies in one place. Items which are especially useful have a check mark next to them.

Mergent Online
Business, finance, and company sources - 15,000 U.S. public companies and 20,000 non-U.S. companies. Enter company name in company name box, then select tear sheets for very nice brief summary of your company. Available for HSU users only.
Moody's Industrial Manual (HG 4961 M67) Library has 1952-1975
Good for historical data.
Stock Exchanges
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) - site of the world's largest equities market (with a total market capitalization of more than $12 trillion). This web site is intended as an educational tool for investors, students and teachers. It includes a daily market summary, a catalog of publications that can be ordered online, news, descriptions of some of its educational programs, market statistics and links to companies listed on the NYSE.
  • American Stock Exchange (AMEX) - the primary marketplace in the United States for equities, options and derivative securities. The Amex trades more than 900 issues on its primary list. In the options market, the Amex trades options on 29 broad-based and sector indexes and on 896 stocks and 103 Long-term Equity AnticiPation Securities (LEAPS). In addition, the Amex is a leader in listing warrants on foreign currencies and indexes, as well as hybrid instruments and other structured products. This site offers news, market summaries, quotes and more.
  • Nasdaq - this site has market news, company news, charts on company performance, links to SEC filings, company web sites, links to U.S. and international exchanges. In the company fundamentals section, it is possible to find a beta for a company. In the company summary quote, it is possible to find a beta for a company. Information is available for companies on all the exchanges, not just those which file with Nasdaq.
Value Line Research Center
Stock market, statistics, economics - 1,700 stocks, over 90 industries. Select either Standard Edition or Plus Edition, type in either name or ticker symbol for your company. Available for HSU users only.
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COMPANY WEB SITES

Many companies are putting up their own sites on the World Wide Web. The pages at the Web sites often include information about company products and services, as well as press releases and other news. Keep in mind, that when reading the information on a company's web page, you should criticially evaluate the information, just as you would any other source. An excellent source is How to Recognize a Business/Marketing Web Page is maintained by the Wolfgram Memorial Library at Widener University which can help you with doing such an evaluation. Click on the sites below to connect to lists of companies with links to their home pages.

Yahoo! Business and Economy:Companies
Provides links to company Web sites by industry.
Yahoo! Business and Economy:Companies:Directories:Regional:U.S. States
Provides links to company Web sites by location.

You might also want to contact a company directly and ask if they will send you any information--for example, an annual report or other company literature. This might be especially useful for private companies, although keep in mind that they do not have to provide you with any information at all, since they do not fall under the disclosure rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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INTERNET RESOURCES FOR COMPANY INFORMATION

Listed below you will find a sample of the kinds of resources available on theInternet with company information. If you look through these sites and still can not find what you are looking for, you may also want to try using some of the search engines and subject directories listed.

Better Business Bureau
Business Reports include time in business, complaint history, and information obtained through special Bureau investigations. Charity Reports include information on the group's background, current programs, governing body, fund-raising practices, tax-exempt status, and finances. See also Better Business Bureau Serving Central California for California related information.
The BigBook
Search for 11 million companies by name, location, type of business, or combinations. Name, address, telephone number and business type given. Includes a detailed map, with a zoom-in feature to the city block level.
Companies Online
Allows users to search for companies by name, location, or industry. Provides phone number, ownership structure, ticker symbol, and link to company home page for U.S. companies.
Dun & Bradstreet
Includes News & Views and Business Trends section containing recent articles, press releases and survey results. You can also search millions of U.S. companies and receive Business Background Reports for a fee.
EDGAR
From the EDGAR Database you can retrieve SEC filings (including 10K's, 10Q's, Annual Reports and Prospectuses) for U.S. public corporations.
Fortune Magazine
Contains many Links to Fortune lists organized by country, industry and company: Fortune 500 list; Fortune Global 500 list.
Hoover's Online
Has a company search box which can be searched by Ticker Symbol, Company Name, Location, Industry and/or Sales. This database profiles publicly listed U.S. companies traded on the three major stock exchanges and more than 1,200 of America's largest private companies. This site also has many links to other useful resources. [For HSU only, Hoover's Company Record covers more than 40,000 public and non-public companies in addition to providing in-depth industry and company information.]
PCQuote
Provides real-time stock quotes.
ThomasNet
Directory of American manufacturers.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION...

Listed below is an excellent book available at the HSU Library to assist you with your business research.

HELPFUL TIPS FOR FINDING COMPANY INFORMATION

  1. Consult a variety of information resources, not only to get a thorough overview, but also to verify information found in the resources.
  2. Use indexes to periodical literature (newspapers, magazines, trade journals) to gain information on hard-to-find private companies.
  3. Contact a company directly for information such as an annual report or press releases.
  4. Consult with a reference librarian at the HSU Library or send us an email question.
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