When researching a single company, it can be helpful to look it up first in a database such as S&P Capital IQ or Corporate Affiliations to learn some basic information about it. Determine whether the company is public or private, domestic or foreign, parent or subsidiary, large or small, etc. In addition, company databases will supply basic information about a company such as the names and position titles of executives, basic financial data, a list of competitors and product names, etc.
When compiling a list of companies, determine what criteria are important to you. Most company directories allow you to specify a list of companies by criteria such as industry category, location, and size.
For larger companies, read reports in company background sources such as Marketline.
Use Google or the link provided in a company directory to find the company website.
For public companies, retrieve company filings (annual report and form 10K) from the company website, S&P Capital IQ or sec.gov. Use the Bloomberg Professional Service to retrieve investment analyst reports about a public company.
Use article databases such as ProQuest ABI/Inform, Nexis Uni and Business Source Premier to find articles about a company.
Use Google to find unique sources of information about a company on the Internet, such as message boards and forums where individuals might discuss a company and its products or stock. Keep in mind that a Google search complements but does not replace the information you will find in library databases.
Use market research databases such as Euromonitor, Mintel and BCC Researc to research company products and services.
Research the industry or industries in which the company competes (see Industry Information libguide). Research the other major companies in the same industry.