Company/Industry Comparison


Industry/Company Home Page
Business Data at St. John's
St. John's Home Page


Whether your assignment is to:
  • investigate a company or an industry
  • compare one company to another
  • compare a company to an industry

  • you will need access to various types of information about the company or industry you are investigating.

    If you are studying a company one of the first questions you should ask is whether it is public or a private company. Public companies are easier to study because they are required by law to reveal to the public a great deal of information about themselves. A Private company has no such obligation. In fact many private companies go to great length to keep information about themselves from becoming public. Information about private companies is often erroneous.

    Financial Data

    Financial data is perhaps the most important factor in analyzing any company or industry. It is available primarily from the annual 10K report filed with the SEC. It is also available in the Annual Report which is sent by public companies to their stock holders.

    The St. John's University Library has subscriptions with a number of databases such as Mergent, Hoovers, Dun and Bradstreet and Standard and Poors. These companies acquire this data and make it easily availabe in a well organized manner in their databases. In most cases the information can be downloaded to a spreadsheet such as Excel which allows you to further manipulate the data.

    This listing below show how to acquire the basic documents (10Ks and Annual Reports) as well as the critical information within these reports.

  • Annual Report - is an information document provided to the company's stockholders. While primarily a public relations document it will contain financial information such as balance sheets, income and expense statements, and other related financial data.
  • 10K - is a comprehensive financial reporting document required of all public companies. It must be filed annually with the United States Security and Exchange Commission. It is a complicated document and the financial information contained in the 10K can be more easily obtained by using the method described immediatly below.
  • Balance Sheet and Income and Expense Information
  • .
  • Ratios, Norms and Averages - allow for comparisons among companies and to the industry.
  • Concentration Ratios - A meassure of how strong the top competitors might be
  • Subsidiaries - are companies a company owns
  • Non-Financial Data

  • Biographies - Knowledge of executive officers can sometimes be useful
  • Company History - past activity of the company.
  • Competitors - knowing a company's competitors is critical to an evaluation.
  • Subsidiaries - are companies a company owns
  • Industry Data

  • Industry Reports - the health or condition of an industry is another critical factor
  • Industy Codes - are used to assign a company to a specific industry or industries for statistical purposes.
  • Market Share - measures the portion of an industry segment a company controls.
  • Ratios, Norms and Averages - allow for comparisons among companies and to the industry.
  • Miscellaneous Data

  • Import and Export Data - may be useful.
  • News Sources

    In addition to the directory databases mentioned above it will be necessary to search a variety of journals, magazines, trade papers and newspapers for articles about your company or industry. St. John's University Library subscribes to a wide range of this type of databases and many of them offer full-text articles available directly online.
  • News Sources