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Global Sales: Researching Companies and Industries: Company Research

Getting Started

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/Non-Public Companies

  • 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.



Company Databases

Use these sources for a quick overview of a company.