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Company Information: Company Overviews

A guide for researching U.S. and global companies, including company profiles, company history, SWOT analysis, and corporate social responsibility.

Public companies & private companies: what's the difference?

Public companies have shares of stock or other registered securities that are bought and sold by the public on one of the stock exchanges. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires publicly traded companies to file extensive information with them, which is available online.
 

Private companies are not traded on any stock exhange. Generally, they do not have to file any documents with the SEC, so it can be more challenging to find information on them.

Find Industry Codes for a Company

Note that companies that do more than one type of business may have multiple codes.

Company Profiles & Directories

Company profiles may include a history of the company, product lines, financial data, customer base, key suppliers, management team, strategy, competitors, and more. For public companies, you can find additional information in the company's 10-K, the annual report all U.S. public companies have to file with the SEC.
 

Company Websites

A company or organization website can be an excellent source of information for locations, products and services, pricing, and product specifications. For public companies, they can include the company's mission statement as well as links to annual reports and 10-K's.  SEC filings, especially 10-K reports, may include products, markets, distribution channels, research and development, patent, and environmental safety information.

Note: Websites are not objective information sources, do not depend on them to tell the entire story about a company or organization.

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Ticker Symbols

Ticker symbols are letters used to uniquely identify a public company and can be used to make company research more efficient. Many resources in this guide will identify ticker symbols, but it's often quicker to use a free website like Yahoo Finance or MSNMoney.

Business Librarians

Marianne Hageman (St. Paul)
mdhageman@stthomas.edu
651-962-5404

John Heintz (Mpls. & St. Paul)
jpheintz@stthomas.edu
651-962-4646

Andrea Koeppe (Mpls.)
andrea.koeppe@stthomas.edu
651-962-4647

During the COVID-19 Outbreak we will be working from home, but we are still available for research questions and consultations. You can email us to get in touch!