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Company and Industry Information

This guide contains core research resources for company and industry research.

Overview of this Guide

This guide is designed to introduce company and business research resources available via the NYU Libraries and select public and government resources. 

Things to consider before you begin your research:

  • Know the company type (see below), the type of company impacts where to search
  • Small and private companies tend to be harder to research
  • Companies in industries that are dominated by private companies (e.g.consulting or real estate)  tend to keep their information more closely held

Types of Companies

Public
Companies that sell stock to the public via stock exchanges or over-the-counter markets. There is a great deal of information available on public companies including at the SEC.gov, annual reports, analysts' reports, company webpages, news. 

Private
Companies that have not offered shares to be traded on a public exchange.  Information on private companies is usually limited to brief information in directories, news, trade publications and magazines.  

International Companies
A company based outside the US that trades on a U.S. exchange must file annual reports (20-F) with the SEC. Information can be found at  SEC.gov .

Non-Profit (Not for Profit)
Finances and other general information can be found in Form 990 which nonprofits must file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annually. This form is often available on the nonprofit's website or in the database Guidestar.org.

How do I know if a company is public or private?
To determine if a company is public or private Go to EDGAR, the free Web database provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and click on more search options and search by company name.

What is a ticker symbol?
A ticker symbol is a public company's stock name. e.g. Pepsico=PEP or Cisco System=CSCO.

 

Additional References