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BUAD 341 - Managerial Finance: Home

Learning about your Company

Researching a company and how well that company is performing has three basic components:

  1. Information about the company itself (financial, operational, strategy, philosophy, etc.) ;
  2. Information about the industry and the company's primary competitors (market size, market concentration, barriers to entry, etc.) ;
  3. Information about the general economic or social conditions facing the company and/or industry (issues or conditions that all companies in the industry are experiencing).
From these three basic pieces, you should be able to compare / contrast your company against its primary competitors and standard industry performance metrics.  This will allow you to derive an informed analysis about how well absolutely (example: is profitable / is losing money) or relatively (example: very low ROI compared to competitors or the industry norm) your company is doing.  There is typically no "right" answer; but rather your analysis of the situation should inform your opinion or recommendations about the company.

Basic Company Information

There are a few specific resources that will assist you in getting a basic overview of your company and some preliminary information about its competitors.  This is typically not really in depth reporting, but does allow you to get your bearings about the company you are researching.

Additional Company Information

Company Financial Information

Industry Information

Business Environment

APA Citation Style

APA Citation Style for COMPUSTAT Reports

General Format:

[Report Name ( [ Version, if applicable] ) for [ Company Name(s) ], [ Data File ], Standard and Poor's.

Retrieved [ Month Day, Year ], from the COMPUSTAT (North America) [ Month/Day/Year ] database.


Annual Cash Flow Statement for Union Pacific Corp. [ Data File ], Standard & Poor's.

Retrieved March 8, 2010, from the COMPUSTAT (North America) 2/18/12 database.

Balance Sheet (5 years with Footnotes & Descs) for International Business Machines Corp, [ Data File ], Standard & Poor's.
Retrieved January 8, 2009, from the COMPUSTAT (North America) 12/28/11 database.

Comparative Common Size Annual Income Statement (Current Period) for Wal-Mart, K-Mart Corp, and Target Corp, [ Data File ], Standard & Poor's.

Retrieved March 6, 2010, from the COMPUSTAT (North America) 2/28/12 database.

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