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In general, it's easier to find information companies that trade on a stock exchange (public companies) or companies with large public profiles. The business databases will include articles about all types of companies.
Public companies and Subsidiaries
- Consider the public company Nestle SA which has numerous brands. You may be more familiar with its large subsidiaries such as Purina, Gerber, Nespresso or Nestle Waters.. There should be plenty of articles about these subsidiaries with their large public profiles.
- Public companies issue annual reports to shareholders. These reports are usually posted on company websites, on the website fof stock exchanges such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (look for company filings). Some multinational corporations, such as Toyota or Tata Steel, are listed on a North American stock exchange; others such as Astra International trade on other stock exchanges. Nestle SA trades on several exchanges.
- Subdiaries don't usuallly offer separate fiancial reports.
- Check the Investor Relations section of the company webpage to locate reports such as the annual report to shareholders. Many companies will provide several years of reports.
- Private companies don't have to issue annual reports and often can be more difficult to research. An example of a large global private company is Cargill. This international agribusiness does't release financial statements although some general data may be available.. Some information about private companies can be found in directories such as RefUSA, Hoover's Academic and LexisNexis Academic as well asn the company webpage.
Use these sources for a quick overview of a company.
Hoover's provides detailed information on 40,000 public and non-public companies.
Includes international companies as well as First Research industry reports.
International Directory of Company Histories
Online from volume 139, 2012 to the present, this source provides detailed accounts of company histories. Volumes 1 through 138 are available in Reference - call number Ref HD2721 .I58
In addition to finding an overview of a company, Ref USA also allows you to make lists of companies based on several criteria such as location or industry. RefUSA also tracks parent and subsidaries. Focus is on US and Canadian companies; however US subsidiaries of foreign corporations will also be included.
Nexis Uni Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic) is a major source of news, legal, and business information, containing over 15,000 full-text publications. The database provides current local, regional, national and international newspapers, broadcast media transcripts, newswires, and blogs. The legal section offers federal and state statutes, administrative codes, court opinions, briefs, pleadings and motions, administrative materials, law reviews and legal news. The business sections contains information on more than 80 million U.S. and international companies and more than 75 million executives, including company profiles, SEC filings, analyst reports, directories, and more. Nexis Uni also offers several useful personalized features for students and faculty who create individual accounts on the database after logging in, including the ability to customize the home page, save searches for later re-use, create search alerts on topics of interest, bookmark documents for later viewing, and retain search history to identify previously-viewed documents. With a personal account, students and faculty can also collaborate by creating and sharing research folders, sharing search strings, and highlighting or annotating documents in a folder.