Before delving into your research, you need to know some fundamental information about the company you want to research.
You should know the correct spelling and the complete name of the company you are researching. It can be difficult to do detailed research on a company that is a subsidiary of another company, so you will want to find the name of the parent company and research the parent company. Companies are bought and sold frequently so be sure your information is accurate and current. Some resources that can help you determine the name of the company include:
Company Stock Symbols
If the company you are researching is a public company, you should know the stock or ticker symbol. Many research tools let you search by ticker symbol, so this helps with limiting to the company you are interested. You can locate ticker symbols from some of the directories where you located the company name, but you can also search websites that track stock activity like Big Charts.
Companies that are not public are referred to as private. It can be very difficult to research private companies. You may need to research a similar public company or get information on the industry.
RMA Annual Statement Studies and Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios
REF HF 5681
Provides financial ratios for industries by SIC/NAICS code. This information will allow you to compare your company to the industry.
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