Company Research

Librarian: Jennifer Garrett

Directories . Profiles . Histories . Financials . Ratios & Rankings . Market Share . Stocks . Private . Local . News

Identify Companies Using Directories

Directories usually provide an address and phone numbers, executive names, industry codes, estimated sales, and number of employees. Some directories provide much more information -- biographies of officers, detailed financial information, stock reports, news, analyses of business strategies and recent developments, and more.

Online directories will allow you to generate a list of companies based on various criteria.

 Thomson One
Next Use the 'Screening' module to set up specific search queries.

 LexisNexis Academic (U.S., Int.)
Next Dossier Create Company List.

Next Search for U.S. or Canadian businesses by name or create a "Custom Search".

Webpage ThomasNet (U.S.)

Webpage ThomasGlobal (Int.)


Sources of Company Profiles

 LexisNexis Academic (U.S., Int.)

 Business Source Complete (U.S., Int.)
Next Company Profiles



Company Histories

These sources may give you information about ownership, brands or products, mergers, board of directors, name changes and of course, the history of the company.

 International Directory of Company Histories

 Business Source Complete
Next Company Profiles section, older news articles


Sources of Company Financials

Business researchers and investors often use Financial Reports, Annual Reports or 10-K's. Financial Reports tend to be of two kinds: balance sheets and income statements. A balance sheet is a status report that describes the financial condition of a company at a fixed point in time. An income statement, or earnings report, shows how much money is made or lost during a given fiscal year or quarter. Financial statements are included in annual reports (sometimes abridged), S&P reports, and Value Line, among other sources.

Two most common types of corporate reports are the 10-K and the Annual Report. The 10-K is the detailed report submitted to the S.E.C. and is the most exhaustive source of current corporate information. The Annual Report is the report to the shareholders and is not an official filing. This is often the glossy snapshot: mostly positive, discussing plans and company's outlook, with financial data included.

(U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)

 Thomson One
(Full functionality requires IE browser)

 LexisNexis Academic
Next Business tab Next Company Dossier

 Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
Next Company section (Guided Tour)

 WRDS (Compustat)
Extract data for use in spreadsheets or statistical software


Compare Companies Using Ratios & Rankings

One of the ways to evaluate the performance of any given company is by comparing that company to other companies or its industry. To facilitate comparisons, ratios are often calculated using the numbers on financial statements. Financial ratios provide a means of standard of comparison. Many financial elements, such as inventory size, are validated by their relationship/ratio to other elements in a company's financial record, such as sales. Comparing these ratios to similar asset-sized companies or to the industry can result in a better understanding of the health of a company.

See Sources of Financial Ratios.

Find out how a particular company ranks against its competitors, or within a geographical area.

Business Rankings Annual
 Available online through Gale Directory Library.
Note: This resource points to various sources of specific trade publications that produce various quantitative and qualitative rankings.

 Thomson One
(Full functionality requires IE browser)
Next Screen for similar companies and export financials in excel to conduct quantitative analysis.

 Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
(Stock ratings)


Market Share

Market share can be defined as the ratio of sales of a company's entire product line to the total sales of all related companies. Market share can also refer to the ratio of sales of a brand to the total sales of that product-type in a defined area (county, continent, etc.). Market share is usually presented as a percentage, although sometimes a raw number of sales or units is provided.

Market Share Reporter
 Available online through Gale Directory Library.

 Business Source Complete
Next Advanced Search Next limit results using a subject term "market share" .

 LexisNexis Academic
Next Power Search Next limit results using index term "market share".


Next Industry market research with market share available under "Major Companies" tab.

Stock Performance

Provides information to investors to understand and make decisions to determine company "health." Looking at stock resources is also sometimes a good place to find ratios and other financial information for business researchers. Of course, these companies must be publicly traded. Information sources of stock performance often include commentary by analysts.

See sources of Stock Performance information.


Private Companies

Research on private companies (particularly small private companies) can be challenging, since private companies are not required to make available the same information required of public companies. It is typically necessary to search in a number of different sources for any available information, including the company's web site and local/regional news sources.

 Lexis Nexis Academic
Next Sources tab Next Hoover's

 Corporate Affiliations

 Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage

 Regional Business News Database

Webpage Triangle Business Journal


Local Companies

 Regional Business News Database


WebpageState of North Carolina, Department of Commerce

WebpageNorth Carolina Department of Secretary of State, Corporations Division

WebpageState of North Carolina, List of Agencies

Webpage Raleigh Municipal Government

WebpageRaleigh Chamber of Commerce