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Company Research

Learn about a company for an assignment, an interview, or an internship by using these tools

Company Research Hints

When researching a company, keep in mind the following:

  • Do you know the exact name of the company? For example, the drug store chain is called Walgreen’s, but the actual company name is Walgreen Co. Also, make sure you are searching for a company, not a brand name. For example, Crest is a brand of toothpaste produced by the company Proctor & Gamble.
  • Is the company public or private? Private, or closely-held companies, do not sell stock to the public, and are not obligated to disclose information about themselves. For this reason it may be more difficult to obtain information about private companies. Articles and the company’s own web site may be the best sources of information for private companies. More on public vs. private companies.
  • Your company may be part of more than one industry, and it is very helpful to do some industry research to see how your company is doing in its industry and sector, and among its competitors. Try our industry research guide.

Company Overviews

Start with your company's web site: Press releases, media, products, company history, and other information.

Then try:

Company Histories

International Directory of Company Histories
Contains detailed histories of over 11,000 worldwide companies. Information includes merger and acquisitions information, highlighted key dates and events, subsidiaries, and more. Type your company's name into: Search Within Series to find information.

Financial Data

Analyst Reports and Commentary

Because these reports are written for investors, you'll only find them for public companies. 

Stock/Equity Research and Reports

SWOT Analyses

Statistics and Market Share

Ratios

Company News and Articles

Nonprofit Organizations

These web sites can help you learn more about nonprofit organizations. To review an organization's financial health, view its financial documents and 990 tax forms.

Directories

Citing Your Sources

Whenever you do research, you will need to cite the information sources that you use. Most business scholars use APA style. Here are some tools that can help you with this task:

 

Getting Help!

There are several ways to obtain assistance with your research. Read on!

The School of Management has a library liaison named Penny Scott, and you can contact her for help. 

Her contact information is: email: plscott@usfca.edu * phone: 415-422-5389

It is best to call or email ahead, or make an appointment, to make sure she is available!

If Penny is not available, or any time you need help, you can always get help, just Ask a Librarian!