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Basic Company Research  

Last Updated: Jun 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This guide will get you started on basic company research.The databases listed in the Analysis tab will help you analyze target companies. The Article tab with help you to find articles about a specific company. The Rankings page with help you to place the company with it's peers.

Assessing the company

  • Porter’s Five Forces
    The Five Forces of Competitive Position model provides a simple perspective for assessing and analysing the competitive strength and position of a corporation or business organization.
  • Porter’s Five Forces Template
  • SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis
    A SWOT analysis is a subjective assessment of data which is organized by the SWOT format into a logical order that helps understanding, presentation, discussion and decision-making. The four dimensions are a useful extension of a basic two heading list of pro's and con's.
  • SWOT Template
  • BCG Matrix Method
    This is also know as the “Cash Cow” model. The BCG matrix method is based on the product life cycle theory that can be used to determine what priorities should be given in the product portfolio of a business unit. To ensure long-term value creation, a company should have a portfolio of products that contains both high-growth products in need of cash inputs and low-growth products that generate a lot of cash.
  • McKinsey Matrix / GE Matrix
    The GE matrix / McKinsey matrix is a model to perform a business portfolio analysis on the Strategic Business Units of a corporation.

Company Databases

Check these databases to locate company information. Often these databases are updated only weekly or monthly so check Lexis/Nexis for up-to-the-minute company news. Beware of the source of the information, wether a professional analyst or the compay itself.

  • Company Web Site  
    Go to your company web site first. This example uses Google. Check the Investors section, which on Google's page is "Our Company" and then "Investor Relations." Look at the SEC filings, listen to the latest quarterly earnings report. Open the 10K and read the Management Discussion
  • Business Source Complete
    Global company & industry reports. Company profiles include history,list of all products & services, location & subsidiaries, and often have a SWOT analysis.
  • NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's)  
    Right column, under Publication Search, select Stock Report and enter the name of your public company. Short report covers business description and some corporate strategy, as well as 10 years of financials.
  • Hoover's Academic
    Reports cover history, overview, financials, competitors, divisions, brands, locations and SEC filings.

Business Librarian

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Trip Wyckoff
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0027G Strozier Library
Scholars Commons - Basement
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Office Hours:
SC Office Hours: By Appointment; available most Tu 6-9 (email for availability)
Areas of Responsibility:
College of Business

Business Librarian

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Kyung Kim
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Office: 0027J Scholars Commons (in Strozier Library)

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MA, PhD (in Information Science)

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