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COMPANY AND INDUSTRY
RESEARCH SUBJECT GUIDE

General Information Databases Catalogs Research Guides
Select a section below to get started:

Don't see the information you want? Check our index.

Starting Blocks

  1. Is your company public or private?
    Public companies sell their shares to the general public. Private, or closely held, companies do not. Public companies are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and must report information on financials, subsidiaries, executive compensation, etc. It is much easier to find information on public companies than private companies.

    For help researching private companies, see the following book in our reference collection:
    How to Find Information about Private Companies
    REF HD 2771 .H695 1998

  2. Is your company a subsidiary, branch or division?
    If the answer is yes, you will need to search with the parent company name in many databases and directories. For example, ABC is a subsidiary of Disney, so you will not be able to look up ABC in most databases. Instead, look for information about ABC within reports about Disney.

    • Subsidiary - Organization with stock over 50% owned by the parent company.
    • Branch - Secondary location of a business. Carries the parent company name and reports to company headquarters.
    • Division - Separate operating unit of a corporation. May have its own officers, but is not incorporated and does not issue stock. Divisions may have a business name that is different from the parent company name.

    Use Hoover's web site to find the parent companies of major businesses like ABC. For smaller businesses, see the company's web site or press releases. See our guide to locating a company's web site.

    For additional information, see the following book in the library's reference collection:
    How to Find Information about Divisions, Subsidiaries & Products
    Location: REF HD 38.7 .H69 1998

  3. What is your company's ticker symbol (for public companies only)?
    Company names can vary from one resource to another; searching by the ticker symbol is often easier and more precise. For example, the ampersand in AT & T can make searching by name tricky; searching by the company's ticker symbol "T" could save you time. Find your company's ticker symbol on BigCharts or on your company's web site.
  4. What are the SIC and NAICS codes for your company and industry?
    Many databases and reference sources are organized by SIC and NAICS codes, so jot down these codes for your research.

    The SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) system classifies companies and industries by their primary line of business. The US government developed this system to provide a standard method for collecting and analyzing economic information. You can use SIC codes to identify a company's competitors and to locate industry financials and ratios.

    The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) is replacing the SIC system. NAICS provides codes for over 350 new industries. Many databases are still in the process of switching to the NAICS system. In the meantime, find both codes for your company and industry.

    Use the following sources to identify SIC and NAICS codes for your company and industry:

    Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual
    Location of the print manual: REF HF 1042 .A55

    North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Manual
    Location of the print manual: REF HF 1042 .N67

    1997 NAICS and 1987 SIC Correspondence Tables
    Match SIC codes with NAICS codes, or match NAICS codes with SIC codes.

  5. 2002 NAICS and 1997 NAICS Correspondence Tables
    Match 2002 and 1997 NAICS codes in both directions. NAICS 2002 is the same as NAICS 1997 for fourteen of the twenty sectors. Construction and wholesale trade are substantially changed, but the revisions also modify some retail classifications and the organization of the information sector. Minor boundary adjustments affect administrative and support services and mining.

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Company Research

Basic Company Information

Use the following sources to locate basic company information, including address, telephone number, business description, annual sales, total number of employees, and officer names.

Internet Resources

Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Locate both public and private companies.
Special Directions: select the "Register: corp." link from S & P's home page.

Mergent Online (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Access information for US and non-US public companies.

LexisNexis Academic (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Search for private company profiles.
Special Directions: select "Business" from Lexis' main menu, select "Company Financial," and change the source to "US Private Companies."

Hoover's (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Obtain information for major public and private companies worldwide.

Business & Company Resource Center from iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library
Search for private company profiles.
Special Directions: select "Business & Company Resource Center" from the main menu. If you are working from outside the Rensselaer at Hartford building, then you will need the library barcode on your Rensselaer at Hartford ID card to use this web site.

CorporateInformation
Access profiles from a variety of sources for US and international companies.

CorpTech (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Profiles of over 95,000+ private and public technology companies and their business units, as well as units of foreign companies, government labs, and non-profits. Includes pharmaceutical, medical, biotech and software companies.

Company Profiles from Wright Investors' Service
Information on US and international companies.

Forbes 500 Top Private Companies
Profiles for America's 500 largest private companies.

Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies
Brief profiles for Inc.'s list of private US companies.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
Well-known directory of manufacturing companies. Free registration required.

Company web sites
See our guide to locating a company's web site.

Detailed Company Information, Financial Data and Investment Analysis

Internet Resources

Mergent Online (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Detailed company information, financial data, financial ratios and corporate histories for US and non-US public companies. Equity Portraits section analyzes financial health of US companies and provides an in-depth look at industries. Allows comparisons of companies with their industry peers.

Standard & Poor's Corporation Records (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Detailed company information, including financials, brief company history, stock and corporate bond information, financial ratios, subsidiaries, and company profiles. Includes public companies, primarily US and Canadian, with some international.
Special Directions: select the "Corporation Records" link from S & P's home page.

Standard & Poor's Stock Reports (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Detailed financial information, including stock evaluation, valuation, and investment advice, as well as a summary of Wall Street analysts' recommendations. Includes public companies.
Special Directions: select the "Stock Reports" link from S & P's home page.

Value Line Research Center (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
On-line access to Value Line's leading publications on stocks, mutual funds, options and convertible securities as well as special situation stocks. Current issue online; historical issues in the library in print (see below).

Standard & Poor's Dividend Record (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Dividend data for public companies.
Special Directions: select the "Dividend Record" link from S & P's home page.

Hoover's (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Profiles, stock quotes, financial data, business ratios and recent news for major public and private companies.

Many sites on the Internet offer company financials, stock quotes and analysis. Some of our favorites follow:

Print Resources

Value Line Investment Survey
One-page investment analysis, including statistics, projections and overview, for selected public companies. Current and historical issues in print. Current issue online (see above).
Location: Business Reference Area

Research Tips

For more specific financial information, visit our Finance & Investment Subject Guide. with company financials, stock quotes and analysis, stock markets and market indices, mutual funds, and bonds.

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Annual Reports and SEC Filings (including 10-K and 10-Q)

Internet Resources

Mergent Online (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Current and historical filings and annual reports for US and non-US public companies.

If you do not have your Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password, use any of the following web sites to access SEC filings:

Company web sites
Companies generally place annual reports in the Investor Relations section of their web sites. See our guide to locating a company's web site. Companies will send you a print copy of their annual report for free. Give your company a call, and ask for the Investor Relations department.

Public Register's Annual Report Service (PRARS)
Order annual reports from a large number of participating public companies. PRARS mails reports to you, free of charge within 24 hours.

Print Resources

Annual Report Collection
The library maintains a small collection of annual reports.
Location: Filing Cabinets in the Reference Section

Research Tips

For guides to SEC and international filings, see the following publications from Thomson Research:

Guide to SEC Filings

Capital Markets Guide
About international markets.

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Company History

Internet Resources

Mergent Online (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Most detailed company history available, as well as financial data. Primarily public companies, US and international.

Standard & Poor's Corporation Records (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Brief company history. Includes public companies, primarily US and Canadian, some international.
Special Directions: select the "Corporation Records" link from S & P's home page.

Company web sites
See our guide to locating a company's web site.

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Competitor Information

Internet Resources

Mergent Online's Equity Portraits (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Analyses of financial health of US companies and in-depth looks at industries. Compare companies with their industry peers.

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Comparative statistics for major companies in over fifty industries. Statistics at end of each survey. Current issue online; historical issues in the library in print (see below).
Special Directions: select "Industry" from the horizontal blue menu bar at the top of S & P's home page.

Industry Outlook section of Standard & Poor's Stock Reports (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Comparative statistics for your company's peer group of companies.
Special Directions: select the "Stock Reports" link from S & P's home page. After loading the report for your company, select the "Industry Outlook" section.

Value Line Research Center (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Value Line groups companies by industry; access the group of major companies in your company's industry. Current issue online; historical issues in the library in print (see below).

Hoover's (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Competitor lists for major public and private companies.

Print Resources

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys
Comparative statistics for the major companies in over fifty industries. Find these statistics at the end of each survey. Current issue online (see above).
Location: REF HC 106.6 .S74

Value Line Investment Survey
Value Line groups companies by industry; access the group of major companies in your company's industry. Current issue online (see above).
Location: Business Reference Area

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Market Share and Company Rankings

Print Resources

Market Share Reporter
Market share of companies and products. Current and historical issues.
Location: REF HF 5410 .M35

Internet Resources

Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles
Search for in ProQuest Direct, and LexisNexis Academic (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required). Combine the phrase "market share" with company's name. For example, "market share" and starbucks.

Industry Association web sites
Association web sites are often packed with industry statistics. See our guide to finding a trade, industry or professional association. Search the associations' web sites, or call them and ask for market share information. Tell them you are a student doing research.

Company press releases and web sites
Companies just might boast about their market share in their press releases and on their web sites. Go to PR Newswire, Business Wire or your company's web site. See our guide to locating a company's web site.

Forbes Company Lists
Lots of lists: best small companies, largest private companies, leading public companies, best-performing companies and international companies.

CNN Money Lists
Lots more lists: best small companies, largest private companies, leading public companies, best-performing companies and international companies.

Business Week's Global 1000
List of the top global companies, ranked by market value.

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IPO (Initial Public Offering) Companies


A company changing from a private company to a public company is called an IPO company. Issuing an Initial Public Offering of stock is the first step in going public. Like private companies, IPO companies can be hard to research. They do not have a large number of documents on file and available to the public. Use the following sources to help with IPO research.

IPO Express
Iinformation on IPO companies, including filings, pricing and financials. Also, information about underwriters, postponements and withdrawals. Includes US and international IPO companies.

IPO Company Profiles
Information on IPOs from the current year, including filings, underwriters, financials and use of proceeds.

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Industry Profiles, Ratios, Financials and Analysis

Internet Resources

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Substantial overview (about 30 pages) of statistics and outlook for over fifty industries. Includes comparative analysis of statistics for industry's major players. Current issue online; historical issues in library in print (see below).
Special Directions: select "Industry" from the horizontal blue menu bar at the top of S & P's home page.

Industry Outlook section of Standard & Poor's Stock Reports (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Brief outlook for the industry of a selected company, and comparative statistics for the selected company's peer group of companies.
Special Directions: select the "Stock Reports" link from S & P's home page. After loading the report for your company, select the "Industry Outlook" section.

Mergent Online Peer Group Analysis (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Compare your company to its peer group. Follow these steps to set up a comparison report:

  1. From Mergent's home page, look up your company and find its primary SIC or NAICS code
  2. Return to search screen
  3. select the "Advanced Search" button
  4. In box 1 select the category, "Industry Code" and select the subcatagory, "Primary SIC" or NAIC
  5. In box 2 select, "Equal to"
  6. In box 3 enter SIC or NAICS code for your company
  7. In box 4 select "Add Criteria"; Search
  8. From search results select individual companies or "Add All to the Company Analysis List"
  9. Select Expand in upper right corner and create a comparison report. (If you need to narrow down the number of companies in your peer group, return to search screen and further refine search with criteria like total revenue, country, total assets and number of employees.
  10. Download results into an Excel spreadsheet if desired

Value Line Research Center (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
One page overview and forecast, as well as some industry statistics, for over 90 industries. Current issue online; historical issues in the library in print (see below).

Hoover's Competitive Landscape (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Use competitive landscape section to compare company's financial ratios to ratios of its top competitors, its industry, and the market. Includes major public and private companies.

Ratio Comparisons from Multex Investor and Yahoo! Finance
Retrieve ratio comparisons for a company, its industry, its sector and the S&P 500 Index.
Special Directions: Search for a company. Then select the "Ratio Comparison" link on the left-hand side of the screen.

Current Industrial Reports from US Census Bureau
Statistics formanufacturing industries of industrial products.

Manufacturing, Mining, and Construction Statistics from US Census Bureau
Economic census and other publications for these three industries.

Industry Association web sites
Many associations publish industry outlooks and statistics. See our guide to finding a trade, industry or professional association. Search the associations' web sites, or call them and ask for information. Tell them that you are a student doing research.

Print Resources

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys
Substantial overview (about 30 pages), statistic, and outlook for over fifty industries. Includes comparative analysis of statistics for industry's major players. Current and historical issues in print. Current issue online (see above).
Location: REF HC 106.6 .S74

Value Line Investment Survey
One page overview and forecast, as well as some industry statistics, for over 90 industries. Current and historical issues in print. Current issue online (see above).
Location: Business Reference Area

RMA Annual Statement Studies
Use for industry ratios. Search by SIC code. Current and historical issues available.
Location: REF HF 5681 .B2 R6

US Industry & Trade Outlook
Overviews and forecasts for many industries. Current and historical issues available.
Location: REF HC 101 .U54

PricewaterhouseCoopers Technology Forecast
Overviews and forecasts for information technology industries.
Location: REF HC 79 .I55

Research Tips

Use the Industry Data Finder to find resources on over 25 industries, from aerospace to transportation.

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Research and Development and Patent Searches

Internet Resources

Industrial Research and Development Information System (IRIS): Data from 1953-1998
Historical database with all industrial research and development (R&D) data published by National Science Foundation from 1953 through 1998. Statistics on variety of measures, including industry R&D funding and industry R&D personnel, broken out by source, industry, character of work, and company size. Datagathered from Survey of Industry Research and Development.

Industrial Research and Development: Data from 1999 on
Statistics from the most recent Survey of Industry Research and Development.

LexisNexis Academic (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
All US patents from 1971 to the present.
Special Directions: select "Legal Research" from Lexis' main menu; then select "Patents."

US Patent and Trademark Office
Full text of patents issued from 1976 to present. (Patents issued between 1790 and 1976 searchable by patent number and current US classifications only.) Federal trademark searches available.

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Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles and Press Releases

Internet Resources

ProQuest Direct (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Full text articles from business and management journals and from national and regional newspapers.

Business Source Premier (EBSCO)(Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Search full text from scholarly business journals covering management, economics, finance, accounting, and international business.

LexisNexis Academic (Rensselaer at Hartford login ID and password required)
Search full text articles from news, trade, legal and business publications. Access press releases.
Special Directions: for press releases, select "News" from Lexis' main menu; then select "Wires."

Company web sites
Companies generally include their press releases on their web sites, often in the About Us or Investor Relations section. See our guide to locating a company's web site.

PR Newswire
Search press releases from the past thirty days.

Business Wire
Search recent press releases.

Print Resources

F & S Index: United States
Search citations of articles that provide company, product and industry information. Articles collected from financial publications, business newspapers, trade magazines and special reports.
Location: Print Index Area

Wall Street Journal Index
Access article citations from both Barron's and the Wall Street Journal, from 1979 through the present.
Location: near microfiche reader/printer

New York Times Index
Access article citations, from 1987 through 2000.
Location: near microfiche reader/printer

Business Periodicals Index
Access historical article citations, from 1967 through 1995.
Location: Print Index Area

Research Tips

Be sure to check the library's Full-Text Journals A-Z to see if we own the journals you need.

To obtain specific articles or books not available in the Cole Library's collection, use our Interlibrary Loan service. You can fill out your request form online!

Use Rensselaer Libraries' Catalog to search for books in our collection.

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Cole Library, Rensselaer at Hartford 275 Windsor St. Hartford, CT 06120
(860) 548-2490 or (800) 433-4723 x2490 e-mail


Updated: 2009-04-23, 14:23