These are some databases to use when conducting company research.
Be sure to use article databases like ABI/Inform Collection or Business Source Complete, located under the "Sources for Articles" tab of this guide, to find out if anything has been written about these companies in magazines, trade periodicals, or newspapers.
When doing company research one should determine whether a company is public, privately held, or a subsidiary. The databases below can help you determine this. If you are doing research on a local level where there are many small businesses, use a database like Reference Solutions to ascertain this.
If you have determined that a company is publicly traded, you will be able to find many sources that provide financial summaries, investment analyst reports (such as those provided via Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage), as well as their 10-Ks or 20-Fs. The sources in this section will help you find this type of information.
10-Ks are the annual reports that U.S. public companies must submit to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). 20-Fs are the annual reports that foreign companies trading in the U.S. file to the SEC. Another good source for the 10-Ks or other annual reports is the company's website. These reports are usually located in the "Investor Relations" section of a company's website.
These sources will help you identify competitors. They will also help you determine whether the competitor is public, private, or a subsidiary.
Reference Solutions is a strong source for identifying competitors on a local level as well as helping you to determine the type of company.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
The database in this section provides company reports with SWOTS for selected public and private companies. If your company is not in the database, or if a report doesn't have a SWOT analysis, you should use articles, annual reports (if it is a public company), and/or the company's website to find information.
In general you will not be able to find detailed financials for the majority of subsidiaries or private companies that exist in the U.S. Here are some tips for private company and subsidiaries research (databases are linked below):