Researching corporations

Many corporations today have public websites that contain a lot of pertinent information about the company and it can be worthwhile to locate this important source of information when conducting research on any company.

Another tool learn about public corporations is Annual Corporate Reports which are documents that describe the corporations operations and fiscal conditions over the past year. This reporting requirement was put in place after the stock market crash of 1929. You can find them by searching sites such as:

  • AnnualReports.com Boasts of having the most complete and up-to-date listings of annual reports on the internet.

Northwest Historical Annual Reports Collection

Annual financial reports of companies currently or historically based in the Pacific Northwest. The collection includes annual reports dating from the 1930s and provides a continuous run of annual reports for most of the companies up to the 1990s.

Federal Government

The federal government SEC1 also provides copies of “10-K” forms (which provides more detail than the Annual Corporate Report) through the EDGAR database. 10-K forms can contain information such as the company history, organizational structure, financial statements, earnings per share, subsidiaries, executive compensation and more.

Here are some tips on using EDGAR:

  1. Use the ‘Company and Person Lookup’ search box.
  2. On the returned listing of filings for the company, enter “10-K” in the Filing Type box near the top of the page to filter for only 10-K forms that have been filed.

Privately Owned Companies

Are not required to make information about their financial condition public. Private companies usually do not produce annual reports which are available to the public.

So, where can you find some information about them?

The best search strategy is to look for articles in newspapers and journals, search business directories, consult trade associations, find local sources, and search the Internet for information.

  1. U.S. Security and Exchange Commision ↩︎

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