Business & Economics Subject Guide: Company Research

Availability of Company Information

The amount of information available varies by type of company:

  • Publicly-traded companies - easiest to research, as they are legally required to provide detailed information on a quarterly/annual basis.
  • Subsidiaries of public companies -  more difficult to research because the parent company may not report on each of them individually.
  • Private companies - most difficult to research as they are not required to release any information.

Also, more information may be available for U.S. based companies than for non-U.S. companies.

Company Names

When searching for companies:

  • Use the company's official name -  the name you know the company by might not be it's official name.
  • Search levels of the corporate tree, as appropriate - names of parent company, headquarters, subsidiaries, branches.


Ticker Symbols

A ticker symbol, an abbreviated form of a company's stock name, can be used in some databases to search for information about public companies.

Example: Search for Amazon using the ticker symbol AMZN

Find ticker symbols through major stock exchanges, including:

United States:



Company Websites

Company websites often provide:

  • financial information
  • quarterly and annual reports
  • stockholder meeting notices
  • contact information
  • and more.

Look on a company's website for sections such as:

  • Investor Relations
  • About
  • Annual Reports