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Course & Subject Guides

Company Research @ Pitt

This guide provides an overview of how to conduct detailed company research, primarily utilizing information in the University Library System's resources.

Company Financials

The following databases provide access to company financials and other finance related information (such as stock prices, analyst estimates, etc.).

The Annual Report to Shareholders is the main document public companies use to disclose corporate information to shareholders. It is normally a polished report including an opening letter from the CEO, financial data, results of continuing operations, market segement information, new product plans, subsidiary activities, and R&D activities on future programs.

Keep in mind that annual reports are written by the companies themselves and used as a public relations tool. You might need to read between the lines and consult other resources to obtain a more accurate view of the company.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations require companies that sell stock (public companies) file a number of financial reports with the Commission. These reports are made publicly available and provide a wealth of information. Below are some of the key reports used in company research. Check out the SEC website for more information about the SEC or descriptions of the many corporate filings and forms.

10-K: An SEC filing containing more detailed financial information than annual reports; text may include products, markets, distribution channels, research and development, patent, and environmental safety information. Available in Mergent Online, NexisUni, and EDGAR.

10-Q: Quarterly financial reports. Available in: Mergent Online, NexisUni and EDGAR.

Proxy Statements: A report to stock holders issued prior to the annual meeting or a vote on significant changes to provide security holders the information needed to vote informed. You often find ownership information and salaries of company executives in these documents. Available in EDGAR (labeled as DEF 14A), and on some company websites.

In addition to the resources available through the University of Pittsburgh, there are a number of companies and organizations that make some information available for free through their websites. Some of the information listed below will be completely available for free, while others will give you a preview in hopes that you will pay for more access.

Bloomberg Terminals are available in the Finance Lab (Mervis 201). Bloomberg can be a great resource for hard-to-find financial information including security pricing and customized analytics, in addition to up-to-the-minute business news.

To create your own account, click GO, then select Create a New Login. You will be asked for your email address and your cell phone number. Bloomberg will text you a validation code, which you will enter to confirm your account. You may also opt to do this through email.

For expert Bloomberg Help, click the HELP key twice to send an email to Bloomberg Help Desk. They will respond within 24 hours. When using the terminal, clicking HELP once will display a detailed explanation of whatever screen you have open.

We have provided you with two links to tutorials on how to use the Bloomberg Terminal below.  We strongly advise you to look over the Help Guides if you have not used Bloomberg before.

Below are some additional resources that contain company financials. These tend to be particularly good for historical questions.