Where Do I Find the Information?

Industry Research

The purpose of industry research is to get a “big picture” of the business environment. Pay particular attention to industry needs, research and development projects, and future outlook.

  • Standard and Poor’s Industry Surveys identify economic conditions, future outlooks, recent developments and major industry players.
  • US Industry and Trade Outlook provides basic statistics for over 300 manufacturing and service industries, along with a prospectus for the next 5 years. Check a local library.
  • Trade/Professional Associations provide information about industry trends, recent happenings and development, and allow networking opportunities (often at a discount for students).
  • The Wall Street Journal is an excellent tool for learning about industry news and trends.

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Information to Obtain

General industry information, Industry trends, Patent/trademark situation, Legal issues, Regulatory issues, Geography, History, Market Leaders

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External Resources for Researching a Specific Company

There are numerous publications that profile companies. They range from general to specific, covering particular companies in particular regions of the country. Most of these publications can be found in any bookstore; but some will only be found in libraries. Most company profiles are written to assist investors, but they can still be a valuable source of information.

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Internal Resources for Researching a Specific Company

Internal company information can be helpful for both large and small companies. This information often can be found on the company website, or through publications distributed at information sessions and career fairs.

  • Company websites
  • Company Newsletters
  • Job postings/employment brochures
  • Annual or Quarterly reports
  • Proxy statements - lists the compensation of upper level executives, directors, and CEOs
  • 10K Reports - reports of publicly traded companies given to the SEC; provides financial information, affiliations with other companies, competitors, outstanding litigation, and biographies of officers and directors.
  • The Company Itself - ASK! Use information sessions, career fairs, alumni, and informational interviews

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Small, Local, or Privately Owned Companies

Small, local, or privately-owned companies may have limited published materials and may not be listed on investment websites. It may take additional legwork to gather information.

  • Local/National Chamber of Commerce
  • Local/State Industrial Boards
  • State and Government publications - each state publishes a directory of manufacturers found in the state

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Information to Obtain

Company mission/philosophy, Products/services, Customers, Competitors, Financial health, Company outlook and growth prospects, New management, Recent newsworthy items


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