Company Information Resources
The amount of information you are able to find will in large part depend on several factors. First and probably most important will be the company’s status as a “public” company vs. a “private” company.
A public company has shares of stock that represent an ownership interest in the company and those shares are traded openly on one or more stock exchange like the NASDQ or NYSE. Public Companies in the United States must file various forms* and documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission detailing their financial performance and governance structure.
A private company may have “stock” but that stock is not traded on any stock exchange. Private companies do not have to file any documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, except in some special circumstances. This often means there is typically much less information available to the public about private companies.
Company information can include:
- Line or lines of business (NAICS or SIC codes)
- News and academic stories and articles about the company
- General identifying and location information such as name and address
- Names and salaries of management and directors
- Lists of subsidiaries, facility locations, competitors
- Financial information (for private companies financial information will be very limited)
Industry Classification Codes: a basic tool you’ll need to use
The first step is to select and define the industry or industries you are interested in. Then begin research on direct, indirect and potential competitors within your market.
Industry Classification Codes are used in many directories and industry resources to provide a more consistent manner of identifying industries. The two codes commonly used in the United States are:
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) was originally developed in the 1930’s to classify establishments by the type of economic activity in which they are primarily engaged and to promote the comparability of establishment data within the U.S. economy. Over the years, it was revised periodically to reflect the economy’s changing industry composition and organization. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last updated the SIC in 1987.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is replacing (has replaced) the SIC system. The NAICS system uses up to six-digit codes to identify an industry. The first five digits are standardized in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
There are many other industry classification codes including Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) developed by Standard and Poor’s and MSCI, Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB) developed by Dow Jones and FTSE group, and NACE a French acronym for Nomenclature Statistique des activités économiques dans la Communauté européenneused used in many European centric databases.
Many of the information sources listed in this guide include one or more industry classification codes from one or more industry code systems as part of the information they list for companies or provide industry information based on these codes. Many of the resources are searchable using the codes. At this time both codes are still being used but expect a transition to a full NAICS environment.
What can NAICS codes be used for?
- To find competitors
- To find customers
- To find industry information and data
- To find industry average financial ratios.
Finding NAICS Codes:
For industries: search or browse for the industry name https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/ Use a concordance table https://www.census.gov/naics/?68967 to match current NAICS codes to olderversions of NAICS or to the old SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes.
For companies: search for the company name in one of the databases UNC subscribes to that have company profiles or company financial information such as: Capital IQ, Orbis, Osiris, or Data Axle Reference Solutions (formerly Reference USA).
Examples of NAICS codes:
- 51 Information
- 517 Telecommunications
- 5173 Wired and Wireless Telecommunications Carriers
- 51731 Wired and Wireless Telecommunications Carriers
- 517311 Wired Telecommunications Carriers
- 517312 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers
- 31-33 Manufacturing
- 325 Chemical Manufacturing
- 3254 Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
- 32541 Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
- 325411 Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing
- 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing
- 325413 In-Vitro Diagnostic Substance Manufacturing
- 325414 Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing
Public Company Information
Capital IQ allows users to search for and screen for in-depth information on companies, investment firms, corporate professionals, and transactions in both the public and private capital markets by a very wide range of company identification data, financial statement data, executive’s biographical characteristics, and deal or transaction specifics. Information can be exported to Excel.
Special Note: Available only to Kenan-Flagler Business School students, faculty, and staff. Students and faculty MUST use their @kenan-flagler.unc.edu email address when requesting their account. Please email David Ernsthausen (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
Refinitiv Workspace is a resource for information on publicly traded US and international companies. Available information typically includes summary financial data with links to company filings, key ratios actual and forward estimates, stock pricing data, key corporate events, officers and directors, analyst rating, and analyst reports (formerly Investext).
While Investext, now Aftermarket Reports, no longer exists as an independent database it is a module of the Refinitiv Workspace database. Aftermarket Reports contains the full-text, including tables, charts and other graphics, of industry and company reports written by analysts from more than 700 of the world’s investment banks. There are currently more than 8 million company reports and more than 1.2 million industry reports dating back to 1982. More than 5,000 reports are added each week. Reports are generally added 1 to 2 weeks after initial publication.
Special Note: Users are required to authenticate with their UNC onyen from both on-campus and off-campus.
Special Note: Users must first self-register with their UNC email for a user account before accessing this resource. Please consult: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/go65062420 for detailed directions on self-registering for a user account.
Please contact David Ernsthausen with any questions.
Osiris contains information on more than 100,000 listed (publicly traded) companies, banks and insurance companies from 190 countries around the world. In addition to up to 30 years of income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement and ratios. Osiris provides, ownership, subsidiaries, earnings estimates and stock data. In addition to the existing ratios you can create your own that you can display in the reports and also use in your searches and analyses. Osiris contains specific report formats for companies, banks and insurance companies and also has reports that reflect accounting procedures in the major world regions. Both standardized and “as reported” financials are provided. Osiris contains graphing capabilities and integrated analysis software that allows users to compare companies against each other and produce tables and graphs to illustrate results. The tables and charts can be downloaded into various word processing and spreadsheet formats.
- Turn OFF the Pop-Up Blocker on your internet browser.
A very nice interface for searching the SEC’s Edgar filings database of 10-Ks, proxy statements and other reports public companies must file with the SEC. You must register to retrieve the filings.
Contains the quarterly and annual and other reports that all publicly traded companies in the U.S. must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Public and Private Companies
Contains directory and financial information on more 250 million companies from 190 countries around the world: For the publicly quoted companies, banks, insurance companies Information includes: typical directory facts, up to 10 years of detailed or summary financial and ownership information, a list of subsidiaries, names and titles for executives and directors, and more. For the privately held companies summary information includes much of the information that is included for the public companies except for the financial information.
- Turn OFF the Pop-Up Blocker on your internet browser.
Data-Axle Reference Solutions is the new name for RefernceUSA Covers about 44 million U.S. companies. Companies can be searched by location, industry name, SIC or NAICS codes, sales, number of employees, and more. Search results can be downloaded.
ThomasNet provides current sourcing information for more than 67,000 industrial and manufacturing products and services from more than 650,000 U. S. and Canadian companies. Information available typically includes company name address and contact numbers or email. From adhesives to hardware, from machine parts to valves, you can identify the product you need from multiple suppliers. You can search for a specific product or brand, browse categories of products, identify companies, and even set up your own “MyThomas Profile.” This is not an exhaustive listing of companies or products. Company listings typically include addresses and phone numbers and products available.
Most recent up date on March 16, 2022.