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Company Research: Having trouble finding info?

Strategies and resources for conducting research on a company's financials, operations, and industry environment

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Having trouble finding much, if any, information about a company?

  • Determine whether the company is public or private.
  • Be sure you are researching the official name of the company. Many companies have popular names that may not be listed anywhere. For example, 3M is really Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.
  • If the company is a personal name or includes initials, e.g. Walt Disney or H. J. Heinz, look under each part of the name. Various sources are not consistent in how names are treated.
  • If the company name is a common word such as Apple or Amazon and you tend to retrieve articles about rivers (Amazon) or fruit (Apple), try adding in Inc. or Corp. after the name. 
  • If you are researching a subsidiary, expand your research to include the parent corporation. For example, Google is under its parent company Alphabet. 
  • Companies sometimes change their names, so be sure to look under multiple possible company names. For example, the cigarette maker Phillip Morris changed its name to Altria . 
  • Very small or very new companies may not appear in the standard sources, particularly print sources. Look for news articles and a company website. Use any regional or specialized industry directories which may be available.
  • See if the database you’re searching in has a specific search tool or area to search for company names – Some databases have special sections or filters to search by company names.  In the list of results, there may be a way to limit results by company, as well.
  • Make sure the source you’re searching includes private or international companies. Some sources only have publicly traded companies, so smaller companies aren’t included.

"Trouble finding info?" by BRASS is licensed under CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license / References to specific subscription-only databases removed from original.