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Sources for Corporate Financial Data

Begin with Mergent Online *   Provides business and financial information for over 23,000 U.S. and international companies.


Annual Reports

The Annual Report to Shareholders is the principal document used by most public companies to disclose corporate information to shareholders. It is usually a state-of-the-company report including an opening letter from the Chief Executive Officer, financial data, results of continuing operations, market segment information, new product plans, subsidiary activities and research and development activities on future programs. Annual Reports are probably the best single source of information on public companies.
CAUTION: Keep in mind that annual reports are written by the companies themselves and used as a public relations tool. Although there are guidelines, companies do have a fair amount of freedom in preparing the reports. The amount of information included will vary greatly from company to company, and you often have to read between the lines or consult other resources to obtain a truly accurate view of a company

Mergent Online* (current and historical annual reports.)

Thomson Research (formerly Global Access)* (current and historic annual reports.)  

Annual Reports at Academic Business Libraries (historic annual reports.)

 HILLMAN LIBRARY - A historical collection is available on microfiche in the Microforms Department, Ground floor.
Many public companies include annual reports, or portions of the reports, on their websites.


SEC Filings

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations require that companies which sell stock (public companies) file a number of financial reports with the Commission. These reports are public and provide a wealth of information. Listed below are some of the key, common reports used in company research. Check the SEC web site for more information about the SEC or descriptions of the many corporate filings.

Academic (Lexis-Nexis)* Available in the "Business" section of the database. Look for the "SEC filings" link on the right.
HILLMAN LIBRARY - A historical collection is available on microfiche in the Microforms Department, ground floor.
EDGAR: the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. Contains electronic versions of most Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

10 K Reports

An SEC filing containing more detailed financial information than annual reports; text may include products, markets, distribution channels, research and development, patent, and environmental safety information.

Thomson Research (formerly Global Access)* Contains recent 10K Reports. Provides detailed full-text searching.

Academic (Lexis-Nexis)* Available in the "Business" section of the database.

HILLMAN LIBRARY - A historical collection of 10K’s is available on microfiche in the Microforms Department, ground floor.

EDGAR: the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. Contains electronic versions of most Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

10 Q Reports

Quarterly financial reports.
Thomson Research (formerly Global Access)* Recent 10Q Reports are available. Provides detailed full-text searching.

Academic (Lexis-Nexis)* Available in the "Business" section of the database.

EDGAR: the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. Contains electronic versions of most Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Proxy Statements

A report to stock holders issued prior to the annual meeting or a vote on significant changes. The proxy statement is intended to provide security holders with the information necessary to enable them to vote in an informed manner. Two important pieces of information which often appear in proxy statements are ownership information and salaries of company executives.

Note:

Many resources take the information from corporate financial reports and repackage it in various ways. Some will condense the information. Most will provide the information in a uniform manner facilitating comparisons amongst companies. Some provide additional information or analysis.


Bonds

Mergent Bondviewer* Use this database to search for data on corporate and municipal bonds.

Thomson Research (formerly Global Access)* . Recent proxies are available. Provides detailed full-text searching.

Additional Sources for Bond Information:

Mergent Bond Record  

BUSINESS LIBRARY – Journals

Standard and Poor’s Bond Guide

BUSINESS LIBRARY – Journals


  

Finding financial information on private companies

Unlike public companies, private companies are not required to file financial reports with the SEC. Finding financial information on private companies is difficult, and at times, impossible. These are some steps for finding what financial information does exist on private companies.

  • Mergent Online* provides some private company financials, though the amount of information is limited compared to what is available for public companies.  Not all private companies are included in Mergent Online.
  • Some private companies do publish annual reports for internal or promotional use. You might be able to obtain such a report by contacting the company or the company may include this material on their website. There are, however, no regulations or guidelines for such reports. The amount of financial information will be minimal if it exists at all. Also, one must think critically about the information that is presented.
  • Academic Lexis Nexis* These ompany profiles will usually provide annual sales and employee figures. This may be the extent of the financial information that you will find.
  • Search for articles about the company. Someone may have written about the company and included some financial details. Also, you can develop some impressions about a company's financial condition by reading about their activities.
  • Although out of the realm of most libraries' resources, it is worth mentioning that there are businesses which research companies and sell credit reports or other similar reports which include financial information. These can be obtained through a subscription service or bought individually. They can, however, be expensive, and the amount of information provided can vary greatly depending upon the publisher of the report and the cost. Dun & Bradstreet is just one example of a company which provides such reports.

More sources for company financials

Thomson Research (formerly Global Access)* This database provides text and images of numerous financial reports including those listed above. It also provides earnings reports, stock graphs, and company and financial tearsheets (one page summaries).

Mergent/Moody's Manuals (Mergent Web Reports)

Available online and also as a print Multi-volume set.  Contains one to three page summaries consisting of business description, company history, properties and subsidiaries, officers and directors, balance sheets, cash flow statements, stock data, long term debt, and Moody's rating. An excellent source for the most important financial data. Published annually and updated monthly in News Reports volumes. The full set includes:

  • Industrial Manual
  • OTC Industrial Manual
  • OTC Unlisted Manual
  • Transportation Manual
  • Public Utility Manual
  • Bank and Finance Manual
  • Municipal and Government Manual
  • International Manual

BUSINESS LIBRARY - Reference
HILLMAN LIBRARY - Reference (HG 4961 M67)

Standard & Poor's Stock Reports

Reports containing 10 years of financial data from the balance sheet, investment indicators, dividends, ratios, and betas.
BUSINESS LIBRARY - Journals

Value Line Investment Survey

Includes stock measures, earnings ratios, dividends, betas, etc. Comments on the performance and outlook of companies and industries. Information for each company is presented in well-formatted, one-page reports. Selective on number of companies covered. (See a sample page along with a guide to reading the page at Value Line's web site.)
BUSINESS LIBRARY - Circulation/Reserve Desk
HILLMAN LIBRARY - Reference Desk.


Free Online Resources:

  • Yahoo Finance - Provides company and industry financial information, headlines, and other analysis
  • Google Finance - Provides company and industry financial information, headlines, and other analysis
  • MarketWatch - Part of the WSJ Digital Network, MarketWatch provides stock market quotes, business news, financial news, and even free virtual stock exchange games
  • Silicon Investor - Provides information on stocks, commodities, foreign exchange, some market news as well as user-driven discussion boards on these and a variety of similar topics
  • MSN Money -Provides investing news, featured articles, market updates, a stock scouter as well as a focus on personal finance (some content requires MSN account)
  • New York Stock Exchange - Provides information on the world's largest stock exchange, including fact sheets and comprehensive data on listings, bonds, equities, futures/options, technologies, investor relations and regulation
  • NASDAQ - Provides information on stock quotes, trading activity, news and more
  • The Investment FAQ  - A collection of frequently asked questions and answers about investments and personal finance, including stocks, bonds, options, discount brokers, information sources, retirement plans and life insurance
  • Penny Stocks: A Guide for Beginning Investors - Provides potential investors with general information about penny stocks and the markets in which they are traded; with a focus on the pitfalls of fraud involving penny stocks, this booklet serves mostly to warn potential investors against becoming involved with penny stocks
  • Mutual Fund Investor's Center - Provides information on the basics of mutual fund investing. The site serves as a clearinghouse for fund information, providing direct links to educational topics, worksheets, calculators and commentary on a variety of subjects provided by leading fund companies
  • MoneyTree Report - The MoneyTree Report, a collaboration between PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, is a quarterly study of venture capital investment activity in the United States. The Report provides information on emerging companies that receive financing and the venture capital firms that provide it

 

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