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Communication Studies *: Company Research

Research Guide for Communication Studies

Company Overviews & Current Financials - USC Databases

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

These databases are good places to start your company research:

Company Overviews - Public Web Sites

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

Finding Competitors

Each of these databases provide information on a company's competitors:

Overview of Company Information

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

It is easier to find information about public companies (those that sell stock to shareholders) than about private companies (those that are private owned by an individual or a group).  Public companies in the United States are required by law to file documents with the Securities and Exchange commission (SEC).  These include the 10k (annual 0 and 10Q (quarterly) reports.  In addition, public companies issue an annual report to shareholders.

When looking for information about a company, consider both information from the company itself (e.g., the company website, SEC filings, press releases, etc.) as well as information about the company written by others (e.g., newspaper articles, analyst reports, articles by professors, etc.).

Finding information about a company includes the following steps:

  • Get an overview of the company, find out if it is public or private
  • Find the company website and review it carefully, particularly the sections for investors or media/press.
  • If the company is public, find relevant 10k and 10Q reports and annual reports to shareholders
  • Search for news, magazine and other periodical articles for information.  This may be the only way to find information on private companies
  • If the company is public, search for analyst and brokerage reports. These sometimes contain an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)
  • Identify competitors.

Company Web Sites

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

Company web sites can provide a wealth of information, particularly for public companies.  Look for press releases, investor information including presentations and events and filings such as SEC filings, annual reports or corporate social responsibility or "community" reports.  Use information from the company carefully and watch for bias or an overly-optimistic interpretation of factual data.

Historical Company Information

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

Stocks and Bonds

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

Analyst Reports and SWOT Analysis

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

Look here for expert opinions on companies:

Annual Reports - Public Web Sites

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

Try these sites if you cannot locate the annual report you need at the company web site or using USC databases.  You may need to purchase the report from these sources.

Financial Ratios

Text from John Juricek's Business LibGuide

These resources provide a range of financial ratios for companies and industries: