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Business: Financial Data

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.


1. Company financial research is easiest when the company meets all of the following criteria:

a. Publicly-Traded (as opposed to private)

b. A Parent Company (as opposed to subsidiary)

c. A Large Company (>$10 million total assets, >500 shareholders)

d. It's an actual Corporate Entity (ie. brand names are sometimes confused with company names eg. Aquafina is a brand, Pepsico is the company that produces it)

Use Hoover's Online to verify criteria a, b, c and d.

2. Occasionally, a company data item may not be readily available in a financial statement or a library source. An eg. might be the debt ratio. This data item can be calculated using Investopedia or Business Ratios and Formulas: A Comprehensive Guide.

3. To find sales data on private companies (as well as information on subsidiary companies and brand names), go to Company FAQs.

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.

Market Capitalization/Value


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

Balance Sheet

assets, liabilities, owners equity, retained earnings, stockholders equity...

Income Statement

revenue, expense, earnings per share (eps), dividends per share, earnings before interest and taxes (ebit)


Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys  Dunbar Ref Bookcase 3, HC106.6 .S74


common, preferred, price, quotes, dividends


long-term debt

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