International Company Research The Essentials Getting Started There are many places to look for international company information. The purpose of this tutorial is to provide a solid foundation on which to conduct basic research and to provide guidance on what sources are most appropriate. All of the resources used in this tutorial are available via the NYU Virtual Business Library For off campus access to databases you will be prompted for your NYU Net ID and password. To get a password, or to reset it, go to ITS Start Please Note! Stern accounts will not work off campus. Stern faculty and students must set up NYU Home Accounts for remote access. What Types of Information will You be Consulting? People conduct company research for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, they’re looking for information for investments purposes, background information such as news or analysis, or a combination of both for a job interview or research paper. Let’s look at the differences between these types of information and some basic issues. Financial Information: Public vs Private companies. Detailed financial information is generally only available for publicly held companies. Publicly held companies must publish financial information about themselves. This information is freely available to anyone. Privately held companies are under no obligation to reveal anything. Investment Reports: Available only for publicly held companies, these are great for detailed analysis, trends and forecasts. News, Articles and Company Websites: Great for background, news, product information, trends and more. Essential for gathering information on privately held companies. Company & Financial Information page This tutorial is intended to acquaint you with some of the most commonly used sources for international company information. As you can see from the Company & Financial Information page on the Virtual Business Library, there are many more resources that you can use. To find out more about these databases, just click on the more link next to the database name. Databases and Resources The following resources represent essential international company research tools. For a more complete list of business resources, see the Virtual Business Library Financial Information ●Hoover’s Online ●Mergent Online ●Company Websites ●AMADEUS Investment Reports ●Investext ●ISI Emerging Markets Articles, News and Background Information ●Company Websites ●ABI Inform (ProQuest) News, trade and scholarly publications ●Ebsco Business Source Premier News, trade, scholarly publications and SWOT analyses Hoover’s Online Hoover’s is a great starting point for company information. It provides basic financial info, news, a corporate history, biographical information on the top executives, a list of competitors and more. Mergent Online Use Mergent for summary balance sheets and income statements, stock pricing and to create custom company reports for single or multiple companies. Enter the company name or ticker symbol. Make custom reports for single or multiple companies Select currency Get up to 15 years or quarters, downloadable into Excel Make Multiple Company Comparison Reports Build a list by selecting individual companies.......... Build a list by industry, stock exchange, country or multiple criteria. Industry code for breweries Select all the companies in the list, or just the ones you select to make comparison lists or company reports. Click “expand” after selecting the companies you want, and you will the option of creating company comparison reports or multiple company reports. AMADEUS AMADEUS covers over 11 million public and private European and Eastern European companies, providing up to 10 years of standardized annual accounts, financial ratios, ownership information and major activities and events. When available, ownership and stock data is also accessible. Choose one or more search criteria in the grid and click on the blue “search” tab. You can search my company name, ticker symbol, industry or a combination of these, and may elect to view only public or private companies, or both. Assume you’d like to get information on publicly held companies which produce cheese. You may elect to use the word “cheese”, or you could you use specific industry codes such as SIC, NAICS and NACE, for which you may use the “look up” option. Here, we’ve used the word “cheese”, limited our search to publicly held companies, and specified that we want our results sorted by sales. We have generated a list of the top publicly held, cheese producing companies, arranged by sales. You now have the option of viewing individual company reports with or without charts, or viewing a peer report. Peer reports allow you to compare the companies against the other companies in the same industry. Select the company report tab for company reports for the selected companies, or click on the “E” icon to get an overview report with 5 charts. Select the Peer Report tab or the “P” icon to generate a report allowing comparison of companies within the group. Company Websites Company websites are good places to get information. Remember, as always, there will be more information on publicly held companies than on private. In general, you can expect to find: Links to financial filings. International companies do not share the same stringent financial filing requirements as their publicly held US counterparts. In general, they must submit detailed annual reports, and less detailed interim reports. Many countries have begun to adhere to more rigid and uniform requirements, but this varies country by country. A letter from the CEO; information about the company’s vision and strategy; a general picture of the structure and bios of top management. General Background Information on the company such as history, news and product information, and FAQs. It is important to remember that the company website is squarely aimed at investors and consumers and will put a positive spin on the company. You must make sure to balance this information with that found in independent, unbiased resources. These resources usually take the form of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals, and in analyst reports when available. Typical Company Website Message from the CEO, mission, values and corporate strategies; company history, and management structure with brief biographic information. Also includes FAQs, and a corporate family diaghram. Information on products and brands. Board of Directors, Corporate calendar, mode of corporate governance. Financial Information Financial data Annual and Interim Financial Reports Acquisitions Legal Issues Investext Provides research reports (analyst reports) and investment recommendations from Wall St. and international and US brokerage firms. These reports are great for finding out what’s happening in company from an objective prospective, and provide investment advise. For analyst reports on companies and industries, click on the Research Reports link. Type in company name or search by industry classification or keyword. In the region box, you can limit by country. You have the option of limiting the time frame here. Typical Analyst Report/Investment Report Company Overview Major Products and Services History SWOT Analysis: Strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Key Competitors Key Employees and Biographical Information Important Trends, Prospects and Developments within the Company Strategic Plans and Financial Analysis ISI Emerging Markets An excellent resource for analyst/investment reports for companies in emerging economies. Select the country of your choice. In this case, we’ll select Mexico. Enter your company name, or part of it. We’ve already selected Mexico. Limit the languages to English if you don’t speak Spanish. We’re looking for analyst reports, so we’ll select that option. If you wish, you can limit by source type, but in this case you don’t need to. You may also change the date range. Typical results include both company and industry analysis. Simply click on the report you would like to view. Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles Very often the bulk of the information that you gather on companies, will be derived from journal, magazine and newspaper articles. This is especially true in the case of privately held companies, which are generally not required to make any information available in any standardized way. In most cases, when looking for information on privately held companies, articles are the best, or only route to take. Articles are also very important when doing any type of business research, as usually time is of the essence. The most recent information will take the form of articles, and very often, unless you’re doing historical research, the information in books will be too old to be useful. You will come across different types of articles as you do your research. These are: ○Newspaper Articles ○Scholarly Articles (also known as “academic” or “peer reviewed”) ○Trade Publications: Publications devoted to a specific industry ○Magazine Articles: Articles from publications such as BusinessWeek The types of articles that you use, will be determined by the type and level of information you need to find. ProQuest simultaneously searches a number of databases. You may elect to search a subset of these databases, or search all of them at once. For company research, it can be helpful to search all the ProQuest databases together, as they cover not only company, trade and industry issues, but also issues which affect business such as social consequences and legal matters. To search all ProQuest databases together, click on continue. To select individual databases, click on clear all databases, and select the one(s) you want by checking the box(es). You can search ProQuest in a number of ways. The two most popular methods are basic searches and advanced searches. Basic searches pick up your keywords anywhere in the article, while advanced searches are limited to selected fields and yield more relevant (but fewer) results. The default is the basic search, and you may begin by entering your keywords. To do an advanced search, click on the Advanced tab. When searching for company information using the Advanced feature, limit the drop down box to Company/org. This will yield search results in which the company is a/the major focus of the article. ProQuest supplies suggested searches based on your original search. Many times the suggestions are good, and you may want to click on any that seem relevant and look at the results. These are typical results. Just click on the full text link to get the article. You may want to limit your results to scholarly (peer reviewed) articles, or to trade journals, newspapers, magazines or reports. Just click on the appropriate tab! This is a sample of the results from a search on Mexico and the Construction Industry using the Scholarly Journal option from the original result set. Important: If you do not see a full text link, click on the grey NYU link, and if full text is available, you will be able to access it. Note: When researching companies, it is very often useful to get information on the industry too, as this sheds light on business conditions and on other companies within the industry. After clicking on the grey NYU tab on the first result, we get a box which allows us to select the full text of the article from two different vendors. Use either one you prefer. Sometimes, we do not have electronic full text, and in that case you will be directed to BobCat to check for print holdings. EBSCO Business Source Premier Very similar to ProQuest, but with different publication coverage and some unique features. Enter your company name, and limit the drop down box to CO Company Entity, and hit the search icon. Notice that you can limit your results to academic (peer reviewed) journals, trade publications, newspapers, industry profiles and SWOT analyses. These options only appear when they are available in your search results. SWOT Analyses: SWOT stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” and are much sought after by those doing company research. They sum up the major problems, successes and provide insight into what may happen in the future. In Conclusion ●We have learned that there are numerous places and resources that can be consulted when performing international company research. ●There are different types of information available on companies, depending upon whether they are publicly or privately held. Much more information is available for publicly held companies than for privately held companies, especially when looking for financial information. ●Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers are invaluable for international company information, but indispensible for privately held companies, since articles may be the only information available about them. ●Investment/Analyst Reports: Available only for publicly held companies, these are great for detailed analysis, trends and forecasts. ●Company Websites: These are good places to find information, but it is important to remember that company websites are aimed squarely at investors and consumers, and will seek to put a positive spin on their company and products. You must be sure to balance this information with that found in independent, unbiased resources such as articles and analyst reports. Good Luck with your research!