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Business Research Guide: Companies & Industries

A guide to Accounting, Management, and Marketing

Latest Economic Statistics from the US Census

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How do I Find Ratios for Companies & Industries?

Ratios are comparisons of companies and industries to industry averages. In this way you can tell how well a company or industry is doing, relatively.


Almanac of Businesss and Industrial Financial Ratios (338.50973 A445 on level 2, the CD can be found at circuation)

RMA Annual Statement Studies (657.3 R642s on level 2)

Standard & Poor's Net Advantage - Found in "industry surveys" under the "Industry" tab

Factiva - You can find this by searching for the phrase "key financial ratios" in addition to your search term.

Annual Reports

Types of documents produced annually by public companies

Name Content and Purpose
10-K An official financial document filed annually with the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). Contains more specific financial information than an annual report but without charts or graphics. 
Annual Report Prepared for shareholders annually by the company. Information is more interactive but less in-depth than a 10-K. Some of the best information is in the charts and graphs.  
Proxy Contains the voting items for annual shareholders meetings. For example, executive compensation. 

Where to find Annual Reports

Industry Classifications

NAICS Code, or North American Industry Classification System, is central to identifying an industry

SIC Code, or Standard Industrial Classification is an older classification system still in use by some databases (also available at the NAICS site)

Industry and Occupation Clasification System is an alternate system provided by Census.gov

BusinessWeek Industries and Sectors, a useful source for industrial sectors

Journal Search

Available Journal titles found when searching for:

the word "industry"

the word "industries"