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Researching Company Financial Information Prof. Jason R. Sowards August 30, 2010.

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1 Researching Company Financial Information Prof. Jason R. Sowards August 30, 2010

2 AGENDA Finding a Company Business Resources on the Web Company Web site EDGAR Business Databases (from ZSR) Industry Research News Research To illustrate resources, we will use Target Corporation (TGT) as our example

3 Finding a Company Locating a company that is publicly traded on a stock exchange is most easily found by visiting the stock exchange web site Each major American stock exchange has a list of companies that are traded on it. Examples: NASDAQ NYSE Also allows you to search by industry if you don’t have a particular company in mind

4 Business Info on the Web There are many places on the Web to find reliable business information Google Finance Yahoo! Finance Reuters Many of these provide financial information as well as “real time” stock quotes (usually delayed by no longer than a few minutes)

5 Business Info on the Web Will direct you to the ticker symbol for the company Almost all of these resources will provide news relating to your company as well as RSS feeds

6 Business Background Information You may encounter terms and concepts you don’t know. Handout provides reference to an online glossary and Zimmerman’s Research Guide Sample entry from Zimmerman’s for Proxy Statements






12 Company Upcoming Events To stay abreast of upcoming releases, Google Finance lists events for some companies. Earnings Conference Calls—when available, there is a link to listen to the CFO (or equivalent) talk about the current state of the company


14 Company Web Sites An obvious place to begin, but companies actually put a lot of important information on their web sites: Financial and legal info Contact Information Whether parent or subsidiary 10k vs. Glossy PR tool





19 SEC’s EDGAR EDGAR = Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval Electronic filing of public company information Became mandatory to file with EDGAR in 1996 The SEC licenses data available on EDGAR to commercial vendors (such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Edgar Online, Morningstar ( formerly10k Wizard )) These products provide more sophisticated searching capabilities and manipulation/analysis of data—much more than is available with free EDGAR from the SEC web site

20 Finding Information on EDGAR Forms for US-based companies: 10-K – the annual report Reported annually on the fiscal year of the company Financials are audited 10-Q – the quarterly update to the 10-K Updates the 10-K Financials are not audited 8-K – the “stuff happens” form Filed any time there is a “material” event that may have an impact on whether an individual might invest in the company

21 Researching Publicly-Traded, Foreign-Based Companies Not all companies that are publicly-traded on US stock exchanges call the United States home Example: Honda Motor Company (HMC) For those companies, check out: Form 20F – foreign equivalent of the 10K Form 6K – foreign equivalent of the 8K and 10Q Foreign-based companies may provide access to the SEC filings, or at the very least, documents that are the basis for the SEC filings, even if they aren’t identified by the SEC form identifier.

22 EDGAR: TGT Which company am I looking for? Central Index Key (CIK) Helps identify companies with the same or similar name Helps with companies whose name has changed On EDGAR, it’s very beneficial to start with the ticker symbol—use that information to first locate your company Then utilize a form search to locate 10-Ks, 10-Qs, and 8-Ks (or equivalent forms for foreign companies)











33 Finding Information on EDGAR: Points to Remember Be careful searching on EDGAR—hyphens in forms matter (10-K good; 10k bad) Also, should you ever see “/A,” that means that it’s an amended version of that form (e.g., 10- K/A) If you come across forms you do not recognize and wonder if you need to read them, refer to the list of SEC forms provided in your handout to determine what is included in those forms

34 Industry Information To fully understand the context in which your company operates, you must also do a little bit of industry research This can be accomplished by reading industry- specific publications as well as reports written by industry experts You gain information on major players in the field, issues impacting the industry, and even potential litigation impacting the industry as a whole

35 Industry Information Gain an overview of your industry by reading an industry report on the web: IBIS World (screenshot follows – works only while on campus) Others available on the industry research guide from WFU MBA (under industry background tab)



38 Business Databases at ZSR ZSR makes available several company and industry databasescompany and industry Some “big” business sources are included: Hoover’s Corporate Affiliations Morningstar (library edition) (formerly 10k Wizard) Thomson One Banker (works only with IE)


40 News The undergraduate library subscribes to many business newspapers and journals Utilize the “Find a Journal” feature of their web siteFind a Journal Browse by area is also available (Business & Economics) Email alerts from Westlaw and LexisNexis Both services provide access to business press publications Wall Street Journal available only on LexisNexis Segment/field searching and date restrictions Also note news sources that have RSS feeds

41 Westlaw & LexisNexis Both services contain business information news In Westlaw, there are tabs you can add for business, company, and industry news Not all features of these tabs are part of our subscription! In Lexis, you have more options for business as part of our subscription, including EDGAR Online Also, pay attention to the “i“ next to databases—they let you know coverage and helpful search tips Also, once you have created a successful search to retrieve information, you can have an email alert set up to run that same search for you with results emailed to you






47 More Links 2 additional links you may find interesting ALA’s Best of the Best Web sites for American Corporations (includes financial data and directories) /bestofthebestbus/bestbusinesswebsitesamerican.cfm /bestofthebestbus/bestbusinesswebsitesamerican.cfm ALA’s Best of the Best sites for Financial Markets and Investments /bestofthebestbus/bestbusinesswebsitesfinancial.cfm /bestofthebestbus/bestbusinesswebsitesfinancial.cfm These are resources collected by business librarians across the country for their quality and credible information

48 Questions? 758-5052 2214 in the library (behind the Reference Desk)

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