How to find Company information
There will be much more readily available information about public companies because they have to issue annual reports and file financial information with Securities and Exchange Commission.
Company Home Page
Company Financial Statements
Annual Reports are a corporation's financial statement prepared yearly for stockholders. Information typically included in an annual report includes a Chairman or President’s letter, description of main sales and marketing activities, management discussion and analysis, auditor’s report, detailed financial statements and 10-year summary of financial figures, list of subsidiaries and company addresses, and list of directors and officers. Many annual reports are “corporate works of art” and include detailed charts, tables, graphs, and photographs. The Annual Report provides a clear view of how the company views itself.
Annual reports of most large corporations are available to persons other than stockholders upon request and are often used as public relations vehicles. Besides giving comparative financial statements for the current and past years, some give divisional reports of past activities and future plans. Many companies will feature links to the digitized version of their annual reports from their company Internet site.
You can obtain copies of annual reports from the following sources:
- Annual Report Gallery
The Report Gallery boasts that it contains the "largest, most complete and up-to-date listings of annual reports on the Internet." Once a company is found, it can be viewed in HTML or PDF format. Free service.
- Public Registrar's Annual Report Service
The Public Register provides free annual reports of public companies trading on the NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, OTC and TSX exchanges. Orders are processed and mailed within one business day.
For Historical Annual Reports:
- ABI/Inform Complete
The scope of the Annual Reports that are featured are "generally" 1985-2008. Most companies will feature the most current three years on their websites which makes them easy to access. Therefore, if you are looking for coverage in the mid-80's through the mid 2000's, ABI is worth a look.
- From the Advanced Search page, select: Browse
2. Under Browse Featured Content, scroll down to Company Reports and select: ProQuest Annual Reports Collection
3. You can search by company, industry, or date. Some companies will feature a long backlist of reports, while others will be quite limited.
Company Home pages can provide a wealth of information including press releases, products, and services, company officers, company histories, stock quotes, annual reports, and more. The company's Internet site can also be used to verify print information, which can go out of date.
Hoover's, Inc., includes a database of 23 million companies, with in-depth coverage of more than 40,000 of the world's top business enterprises. For access to some of the in-depth reports, see: Lexis/Nexis
|On a company web site, Annual Reports are frequently located under "Investor Relations." Other alternatives may include (but are not limited to) "Shareholder Information," "Earnings Releases," "Company Reports," "Company Profiles," "Financial Information," "Customer Service," or "About".
3. When the Fundamentals Analysis tab is chosen, you have access to the balance sheet, cash flow statements, and ratios.
- Lexis/Nexis Company Dossier
- In the Company Name box, type: your company
- Select your company from the Results List
- From the left navigation area, under Financials, select: Overview
- You will find: Assets, Liabilities, Cash Flow, Income Statement, Balance sheets, and Ratio Analyses, all for a three year time period.
Public companies are not required to provide information about subdivisions, subsidiaries, or business units. Therefore, depending on the company, it might be hit or miss. Here are three methods to consider:
- Larger companies or conglomerates provide business segment reporting as part of their annual reports and 10Ks.
- Some large companies disclose information to investment analysts. Investment analysts reports are available from:
Business Insights Global
Once you have located your parent company report, you will find Analyst Reports under the Investment Reports link.
This is the section of Lexis/Nexis known as Company Dossier.
1. First, search and select your parent company.
2. From the left navigation area, under Financials, select: Analysts Reports.
3. In some cases, divisions or subsidiaries have their own Web sites with further information. Information about their strategies or sales figures can often be found in press releases from the subsidiary itself, and bits and pieces in business, trade, and news articles.
Corporate financial reports and other disclosure documents are excellent sources for current financial statistics and for other detailed information about the operations of publicly traded companies. These documents include not only annual reports to stockholders but also the various reports that U.S. companies are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission: an Annual Report to SEC (called the 10-K); Quarterly Financial Report (10-Q); Report of Unscheduled Material Events or Corporate Changes (8-K); 10-C, which is similar to 8-K for OTC (Over The Counter) companies;
You can obtain SEC Filings from the following sources:
1. From the top of the search screen, select the box titled: Search by Content Type
2. Scroll down to: Companies
3. Select the link: SEC Filings
4. Under the search box, select the drop down box, labeled: Advanced Options
5. Fill in the time frame you need.
6. Check off the filings you need
7.. Select Apply and then, Search
- Securities and Exchange Commission
This is the official site of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's database named, EDGAR. (Electronic, Data, Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval System). All companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR.
|If you've ever wondered where to find a certain piece of information about a public company - eg., a list of subsidiaries, names of board of directors members, insider transactions, proxies, mergers, and executive salary data - this site does a superb job of telling you...
- on what form or filing you can find that information
- how and where to search it right there on EDGAR, all clearly explained.
- 10K Wizard
An improved interface to the SEC filings. It contains information on 45,000 companies worldwide with archives through 1994. This is a fee-based service and you must have a subscription.
|If you have questions about financial statements and you are a little rusty about where to find "bits of information," Business Week magazine has an ongoing series on how to read and understand 10Ks, proxy statements and other financial statements called "The Fine Print."
- The Fine Print: How to read those key footnotes behind the numbers.
- Unlocking the secrets of a Proxy Statement.
- TIPS for reading an Annual Report
Another good source for help with financial statements:
- A Journalist's Guide to Financial Statements
This white paper provides a discussion and simple explanations on what the various elements of a financial statement mean and shows the reader how to interpret them. Key segments of the paper include the income statement, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows. Also included are examples of key ratios, a case study of Twitter’s financial statements, and how to analyze the data to determine a company’s financial health.