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Company Research Guide has moved to http://libguides.colorado.edu/company.

  • Company


  • Articles

    & Analysis

  • Financials

    & Filings

  • Products

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  • Competitors

    & Market Share

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Sources for Company Profiles

Company profiles generally include a business description, company name and variations, ticker symbol (for public companies only), headquarters address and contact information, executives' names and titles, and associated industries. Many include a list of key competitors.


Note: Several of our databases still require a VPN connection for off-campus access. These are signified with this icon VPN icon


Best Sources

Business Insights: Global

Company profiles include links to relevant trade articles, market research reports, SWOT analysis, rankings, and company history.


Mergent Online VPN icon

Best for large companies. Search by company name or ticker. For private companies, be sure to check the box for "D&B Private Company Database." Use the tabs and subtabs to navigate the content. Best source for information on executives and committees.


Lexis Nexis Academic

Search by company name or ticker in the "Company Search" portal. The "Company Dossier" includes data from a variety of sources such as Dun & Bradstreet, Standard & Poor's, and Morningstar.



Best for private companies and investment firms.


Additional Sources


Look for the "Companies/Markets" tab, then choose "Company" to search. Good for larger public and foreign companies. Data comes from Dow Jones, Dun & Bradstreet, and FactSet Research Systems.


Reference USA

Good for smaller and private companies.


Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage

Best for US-based public companies.


Company Histories
Business Insights: Global

Access content from these publications:

  • International Directory of Company Histories: the publisher's description states that this source: "provides histories of companies that are a leading influence in a particular industry or geographic location. For students, job candidates, business executives, historians and investors."
  • Notable Corporate Chronologies: "a collection of chronologies for over 1,500 corporations. Each timeline lists and briefly describes 30 or more key dates that mark major events in a corporation's life story."

Mergent Online VPN icon

Find a thorough chronology in the "History" subtab. Also, this database is the only one that allows you to view company performance by executive leadership, or to view an executive's career performace over time and across different companies.





Trade Publications

Trade associations are often the only place to find current statistics or trends for an industry. Trade associations (also called trade groups, industry groups, business associations, etc.) exist at the local, regional, national, or international level. Many trade associations publish newsletters or journals geared toward the members: practitioners in the industry. Trade publications are very useful for learning the vocabulary of an industry, the key players, and current issues or trends.

Best Databases for Trade Publications

  • Factiva features full-text articles from major world business and financial news sources, company reports, and financial market information. The search interface can be tricky, but the scope of coverage is unmatched.

  • Lexis Nexis Academic also provides full-text articles, news transcripts, country economic and political risk reports, and legal cases.

  • Business & Industry has full-text articles from trade and business publications. Good for industry trends, marketing, strategy, operations, and management best practices.


SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are generally internal to the company, while opportunities and threats are external factors. You can find SWOT analyses for most major companies by searching Business Source Complete for "(company name) AND SWOT".



Scholarly Articles
The two databases below are your best bet for scholarly articles about a company, executive, or industry. Both databases include content from news, popular, and trade sources. You may wish to narrow your results to scholarly journals using the facets located to the side of the results or by checking the "Scholarly" box before performing your search.


Investment & Equity Reports
  • Business Insights: Global
    Search by company name, then choose the company profile from the list of results. Look for "related content" on the right side of the screen. Choose "Investment Reports." Reports come from sources such as Reuters, ValuEngine, Inc., Pivotal Research Group, Trefis, and many more.

  • Mergent Online VPN icon

    Search by company name, ticker, SIC or NAICS code. Choose your company, then look for the "Reports" tab. When the "Reports" tab is open, you will see "Equity Reports" as an option below. Description is as follows: "Mergent Equity Research Reports provides access to individual analyst equity reports on over 4,000 large and mid-cap U.S companies. Each two-page detailed report offers buy, hold and sell recommendations for the company and peers, price momentum ratings and chart, earnings summary and chart, price performance charts and business summary, prospects, recent developments and more."


  • Morningstar

    Morningstar Investment Research Center has some of the most thorough analyst reports available to our students. Morningstar offers video tutorials including the "Companies" one linked here: library.morningstar.com/tutorials/Companies (FYI - the video starts automatically).


  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage

    Search by company name or ticker, then use the links on the left for stock reports. Choose the "How to Analyze" link for an interactive stock analysis tool.


  • Thomson One VPN icon (compatible only with Internet Explorer)
  • Reports from analysts at larger banks, investment firms, and research companies. Find reports at the bottom of the "Company Overview" page, or choose "Screening & Analysis" from the sidebar to search by NAICS, region, analyst name, and more.


  • Value Line

    Value Line Investment Survey and Online Research Center. For quick access to the latest stock report for your target company, use the search box at the very top of the homepage and search by ticker symbol. A quick guide is linked here: www3.valueline.com/pdf/VL_UserGuide.pdf. For in-depth instructions and an explanation of what is available in this source, see the guides on this page: www3.valueline.com/sup_howtoinvest.aspx.



Public Companies

Basic Data

  • Business Insights: Global

    Use the "Comparison Charts" tab to quickly compare companies on data points such as revenue or sales per employee. Create charts for industry-level data using NAICS codes or descriptions.



    EDGAR is the Securities and Exchange Commission's database of company filings.


  • Lexis Nexis Academic

    Access company data from sources such as Dun & Bradstreet, Morningstar, and Standard & Poor's in one location called the "Company Dossier." Use this search to quickly find the dossier.


Detailed Data

  • Mergent Online VPN icon

    Search by company name, ticker, SIC or NAICS code. Choose your company, then look for the "Company Financials" tab. All data is downloadable to Excel. Use the Mergent Toolbox to easily create spreadsheets and reports comparing up to 500 companies simultaneously.


  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage

    Search by company name or ticker, then look for the link for "Financials" on the left side of the screen.


Private Companies
As private companies are under no obligation to disclose their financial records to the public, this data can be tricky - if not impossible - to find. The sources below are the best places to look for private company financials.


  • PrivCo

    Private company financials and revenues, private M&A deals and deal multiples, private firm valuations, venture capital fundings, private equity deals, private and family ownership breakdowns, bankruptcies, restructurings, and more.


  • Lexis Nexis Academic

    Lexis Nexis is incredibly valuable for private company data. Use this link to find in-depth information about private companies, venture capital firms, and others.


  • ReferenceUSA

  • ReferenceUSA is mainly a directory source, but sometimes includes estimated sales, operations, number of employees, and more.

How are private companies valuated? See "Private Company Valuation" in the PrivCo Knowledge Bank.




Products & Brands
  • Business Insights: Global
    Search by company name, then choose the company profile from the list of results. Look for "related content" on the right side of the screen and select "Brands." Brand Names and Brand Types are listed and available to download. Discontinued brands are included. Alternatively, if you know the brand but do not know which company produces it, you can search by brand name.

  • Mergent Online VPN icon

    Search by company name, ticker, SIC or NAICS code. Choose your company, then look for the "Reports" tab. Annual Reports to shareholders and 10-K (or international equivalent) are linked for download. The annual report to shareholders will describe all the company's brands and products.


  • Mintel Market Reports

    In-depth market research reports on consumer goods. Search by product type (i.e., e-readers) or brand (i.e., Kindle). Reports include market segmentation and analysis, marketing strategies, sales, and usage data.


Operations, Locations, and Strategy
  • Business Insights: Global

    Search by company name, then choose the company profile from the list of results.


  • Mergent Online VPN icon

    Search by company name, ticker, SIC or NAICS code. Look for Business, Business Segments, Subsidiaries, and Highlights. Download annual reports. The 10-K will include a statement (Part 1, item 1: Business) which details the company's business model, competitive advantage, strategic plan, and much more.




Understanding a company's place in the competitive landscape is a key piece of company research. A variety of sources provide lists of competitors. Think about the criteria that was used to create the list to determine whether it is comprehensive and relevant to your analysis.


Reference USA

Search for businesses by name, keyword, location, or industry. Competitor lists are automatically generated in each company record.


See the Rankings and Market Share resources below for additional ways to find competitors.


Rankings and Market Share

Business Insights: Global

This database provides rankings from Business Rankings Annual and Market Share Reporter.

  • Search by company name or ticker symbol, then look for the "Rankings" and "Market Share Reports" links.
  • For rankings and market share for products or brands, use the Advanced Search function and change "Content Type" to Rankings or Market Share Reports.

Mintel Market Reports

Market research reports on consumer goods. Search by company, brand, or product type.

  • Each report has a "Market" section including market size and segment performance.


Tablebase, part of the RDS Business Suite from Gale, allows you to search the text of data which has been published in tabular format. Tables from business and trade journals are presented in full. In addition to general "Top 10" lists and brand share rankings, there are hundreds of lists covering a huge range of (sometimes unexpected) topics.

  • Search for product or brand. If you retrieve too many results, try narrowing the search by adding "and market share."
  • Coverage includes production/consumption statistics, import/export, and much more.

Ward's Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies

This print source provides rankings by sales for over 100,000 US companies. The company rankings are organized by NAICS industry codes. Calculate market share by dividing total revenue by the revenue given for your target company. Latest volume available at the Reference Desk, earlier volumes are in the stacks.


For more about Market Share and the Size of the Market, see our Marketing Guide.


Local Business Resources

Reference USA

Search for businesses by name, keyword, location, or industry. Financial information, employees, and operating expenses are listed, as available, even for small businesses.


Boulder County Business Report

Business news, analysis, data, and statistics for Boulder and Broomfield counties. Access the library's subscription content using the link above for full-text articles, or browse headlines at www.bcbr.com.


Two annual publications offer business rankings at the local level. Topics include fastest-growing public and private companies, women- and minority-owned businesses, best places to work, and profiles of local entrepreneurs and philanthropists.




Other Guides

Business Library Research Guides

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