What about using the company's own website as a source of information?
There is no question that it can be a useful source to find out
It is important to keep in mind that the company site is primarily a public relations document, designed to encourage investors to buy stock. Therefore, you need to carefully evaluate the information found on the web site, and keep in mind that the company isn't likely to offer any information that isn't positive and has internal biases. Since you have access to so much information about the company, it just makes sense to use more than the company web site.
One of the most common types of research required of business students is company research. It could be for a SWOT analysis project, a management or marketing assignment, or you may be researching a company for a job interview. Whatever your need, the library has the right research tools to help you succeed.
Before you begin your company research here are a few things to consider about your company:
Public VS Private
First identify the nature of the company. It could be:
From the research perspective, the public company offers the best opportunity to gather information. Public companies must "disclose" meaning they must make available financial data and other information. That means there are fewer barriers to gathering information. Consider that a private company does not divulge its financial statements. Without financials, a SWOT analysis could be quite difficult.
If you want to obtain the actual SEC documents, a recommended site is It makes the search and location of the documents easy, there are readily available segments of the documents available for download and the site is east to navigate. The most import documents are the which is a detailed annual report and the the quarterly report that updates the annual report.
If you are in need of they can be found online in the Disclosure Reports (see Lexis/Nexis below).
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