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Business Research Guide

Company Research: Introduction

This guide was prepared by the Business subject specialist for the Dalhousie community. These resources have been selected as excellent starting points for academic research on companies. For further research assistance, please contact Dr. Joyline Makani

Page Contents:

  1. Where to start
  2. Company Directories
  3. Corporate Filings (Annual Reports)
  4. Company Profiles
  5. Financial Statements
  6. ESG Data Sources
  7. Credit Rating
  8. Brands/Market Share
  9. Company Rankings

Related Guides: Marketing & Advertising, Industry Research, Statistics & Data

Where to start

When doing research on specific companies it is important to establish from the beginning whether the company is:

  • Public or private?
  • a subsidiary or joint venture?
  • foreign-owned?

This type of information is usually available in company directories listed in a section below.

  • Public company Information?

Public companies sell their shares on the stock market. They are legally obligated to disclose financial information to their shareholders and to legislative bodies. To fulfill this obligation Public companies produce reports, which are sent to the shareholders and filed with regulatory bodies like the Canadian Securities Administrators or the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.

The company SEC filings are a crucial source of financial information and acts as a basis for historic analysis and forecasting. They contain not only the company's financial statements, tables, notes, and management reports, but also anything else that the company is required  to disclose.

  • Private company Information?

These are the companies that do not trade on stock exchange. Information on private companies is often difficult to find. Begin by searching market research reports. Market Research reports provide valuable and timely information about the industry, its market size, key players, mergers and acquisitions, costs, profitability etc.

Company Directories/Registers

Company Profiles / Company Analyst Reports

Financial statements, market data, ratios, etc

Bloomberg (only accessible from dedicated workstations in the Killam, North Learning Commons and Rowe)

Offers real-time trading data, detailed historical data, customizable market monitors, macro-economic data, news, and much more for stocks, bonds,commodities, and other major markets all in one place.

Datastream (only accessible from a dedicated workstation in the Killam, North Learning Commons.)

Provides access to significant historical time series data including equity, index, commodity, currency, bond, futures, options, and economic data. The Excel add-on allows researchers to download data on multiple securities simultaneously. Also provides access to ASSET4 ESG data which includes 500 metrics on more than 4,700 global companies covering environmental, social, and governance factors.

ESG Data Sources

Regulatory Filings

Provides access to most public securities documents and information filed by public companies and investment funds with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)." Available in both languages French and English. (The SEDI system allows you to search for insider filings.)

  • EDGAR at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

    Access to the SEC's EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) filings by corporations, funds, and individuals. N.B. You can also access EDGAR filings through the Mergent and LexisNexis databases.

  Provides access to the US companies EDGAR Filings

Provides links to the websites of SEC-equivalent regulatory bodies around the world.

Provides access to UK corporate filings. Click on WebCheck to gain access to basic company information for free; full documents may be purchased for a nominal fee.

Corporate Executive Compensation

Brands & Market Share

Company Credit Ratings

Company Rankings