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Business: Company FAQs

This is a guide to awesome resources for business research FAQs. It also links to resource handouts created for specific business classes taught at WSU.

Citing Your Sources

Aside from citing articles and books, have you ever wondered how to cite a company annual report or an industry report? The reality is, there is no "official" style for citing business sources. However, it is common practice to use adaptations of one of the following citation styles: the American Psychological Association (APA) Style or the Chicago Style. Whichever style you choose, use it consistently for the entire project/paper.

It is Mentioned in This Guide That It's Difficult to Find Information on Private and/or Subsidiary Companies. What Useful Resources are Available For This Kind of Research?

Factiva is a good resource to find newspaper and trade articles on private as well as subsidiary companies. It is also useful for researching brand names.

Mergent Intellect will provide limited business and financial information on private and subsidiary companies.

Researching a Company's Competition

Use Mergent Intellect (Competitors List), Mergent Online (Competitors) or Factiva (Peer Comparison) to get a list of competitors.

A side note: Competitor lists differ slightly depending on how the market is defined (U.S. vs global) and product category (several product categories may be attributed to a company). The ranking of these competitors depends on the criteria upon which they are ranked by (sales? revenue? market cap?).

Competition doesn't just include companies selling like products. It could also include substitute products and competing services... anything that has the potential to steal a firm's market share. For eg. competition for a daycare center doesn't just include other daycare centers in the local area. It could also include church or afterschool care programs, au pairs etc. Threats to restaurants could be grocery stores, convenience stores, grandma's cooking. Be sure to think about these in your analysis.

Getting a List of Companies

To get a list of companies that's most meaningful to you, it helps to be as specific as you can. In other words, the more criteria/parameters you place on your search, the less likely you will wind up with a long and unwieldy list.

For eg. perhaps you only care about companies in the U.S., not global. Or you only want to look at public parent companies, not private subsidiaries. Or just companies in a specific industry. Or only companies with sales/revenue above a certain $ amount etc. etc.

So let's say you want a list of UK companies in the beer industry with sales/revenue greater than $100 million.

Mergent Intellect is a great place to start.

Notice that LexisNexis had a longer list than Hoover's? That's because the exact company coverage in every database is different. It's always a good idea to search multiple databases.

Should I Invest in Stock X?

Disclaimer: Please consult with a financial advisor! The library does not provide the final word on this topic but we can share resources that will give you some ideas.

So let's say you're wondering if you should invest in Facebook stock.

InvestorEdge

Value Line Investment Survey  Dunbar 2hr Reserve, HG4501 .V26

What Promising Stocks Are Out There Today?

Disclaimer: Please consult with a financial advisor! The library does not provide the final word on this topic but we can share resources that will give you some ideas.

Value Line Investment Survey  Dunbar 2hr Reserve, HG4501 .V26

Look at the Summary and Index section for "Best Performance Stocks". Also the Selection and Opinion section for "Stock Highlight". 

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