A company will have a ticker symbol (e.g., CMCSA for Comcast) if it is publicly traded on one of the world's stock exchanges. Knowing the ticker symbol for a given company is helpful in finding the most precise information and data.
You can look up ticker symbols on Yahoo! Finance or MarketWatch Simply type the name of the company into the search box next to "Get Quotes." If your company is not listed, check the spelling. If it is still not listed, then it may not a public company or may be a subsidiary or division of a parent company, whose ticker you would need to search on.
Check the following sources for information about mergers and acquisitions.
It is often helpful to start your research with overviews of economic conditions and industries, and then overviews of companies, as you will see in the tips from the pro's, below.
Before searching, it is helpful to know a few details about your company:
This information can usually be found on a company's web site, which can be located by doing a quick Google search.
To best use this guide, click on the tabs above to find the best resources recommended for different types of company research. Remember you can always ask a librarian if you are having any trouble finding what you need.
Research strategy tip:
"Investors who want to look at the "big picture" often start by examining the state of the economy and the stock market in general, and then look, in order, at market sectors, at industries within a sector, and then at companies within a given industry," explains Robert Mitkowski, Jr., in ValueLine's Sector_Analysis July 1, 2011.
Check out how the pros approach company research. Explore the help guides on the GGU financial databases listed below.
See also Standard and Poor's Equity Research Methodology, including Top Down (Macro and Economic Analysis) and Bottom Up Company Analysis research approaches to analyze company stock value.