Company Research

Good Places to Start

Annual Report to Shareholders

Look for the Annual Report to Shareholders on the company web site.
It's often behind a link called Investor Relations or just Investors.

The Annual Report will provide basic financial figures and discussions of recent developments/possible future directions of the company.

If you can't find it on the web site or need an older annual report, see Other Sources for Annual Reports or Old Annual Reports, below.

SEC Filings


Great for Background Info!

Other Sources for Annual Reports (current and past years)

Old Annual Reports

You can sometimes find ARS for a few years back on a company web site; but they rarely post reports from the 1990s or earlier.

Old Annual Reports on Microfiche at the EMU Library
The library has annual reports and SEC filings for U.S. companies (1978-1997) on microfiche. Use the Corporate Reports Index (grey volumes and black binder on top of MF cabinets) to look up the MF number.
EMU Library, 2nd Floor, Microforms area

Moody's Manuals
You can also get info from annual reports in Moody's Manuals.
This index at the EMU Library can be used to figure out which manual the company is in:
Moody's Complete Corporate Index
REF HG 4905 .M798

EMU Library has the following Moody's Manuals in hard copy or on microfiche (MF):

Storage copies can be requested via the EMU Library catalog and retrieved in <10 minutes.
MF copies are on the EMU Library 2nd floor in the microform area.

Research Tips

Companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges (public companies), must disclose information to shareholders and to the Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC).

These companies are also analysed for investors and often covered in the press. There is a lot of info available.

Standard & Poors NetAdvantage is an especially useful source.

If you are looking for a lot of detailed info on the company, try searching EDGAR for a recent 10-K form. These lengthy reports often offer details on company strategy and marketing practices. Because the 10-K documents are quite long, it can be helpful to use your browser's keyword search function (Ctrl + F keys).

Articles can help you look for specific info on a company or recent developments.

Also, try the Esearch to see if the EMU Library has books about the company.

And of course, look around the company's web site. Remember that info from the company may be biased or not include important negative info on the company.

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Amy Fyn
Summer 2024: Available May 6 - June 19.
Subjects: Business, Economics