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BUS 100, Introduction to Business: Company Overview

This guide is your road map to completing your BUS 100 project. We can't possibly list every resource you might need, or anticipate every stumbling block, but we've included the ones that address most companies and situations. If in doubt, ask for help.

Section Overview

In this section of your analysis, you want to provide the key facts an investor wants to know: brief history, products &/or services produced, and any other key statistics that you determine to be relevant to the overview.

Information Provided by Your Company

You must reference the company's web site in your analysis. It's a good source for vision, mission, & strategic statements, organization & structure, current financial information, company promotion & marketing tools, product information, and more. Corporate information may be buried on the main web site - look for an "About Us" or "Company" or "Investors" link on the home page.

But remember: the main purpose of a company's web and annual report site is to promote itself, so "trust but verify" - all of the information on the company's achievements and performance can (and should be) be verified in external sources.

The most recent report (and sometimes previous reports) is usually available on the company's web site. The annual report is a great source for vision, mission, & strategic statements, organization & structure, current financial information, recent achievements, strategic plans, and more. The annual report is a legal requirement for public companies, but it's also a vehicle for retaining and attracting investors - always "trust but verify" using external sources.

Annual reports are also available from these sources:

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Company Profiles

A company profile is the first document you should seek after you locate the company's web site and annual reports. Company profiles can be useful in every section of your analysis and offer basic factual information (e.g., stock ticker symbol, fiscal year end, company history, key people) and third-party perspective on the company's strengths, weaknesses, and competitiveness. Different sources provide different types of company profiles, so look for one in each of the sources below (but be aware that not all companies will be included in each of these sources). 

Company profiles from Business Source Complete offer a great deal of information about your company, beyond the basic facts. A full report will include the following sections (but keep in mind that not every report will be comprehensive):

MarketLine Report Medtrack Report
  • Company Overview
  • Key Facts
  • Business Description
  • History
  • Key Employees
  • Key Employee Biographies
  • Major Products and Services
  • Revenue Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Top Competitors
  • Company View
  • Locations and Subsidiaries
  • Product Glance
  • Products by Therapy Area
  • Product Pipeline/Summary
  • Management Profile
  • Recent News
    • Company Announcements
    • Deals and Alliances
    • Financials
    • Intellectual Property
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Product Updates
    • Regulatory

Tip: Check the date on the report - most reports are no more than a year old, but you'll want to update information in any report older than 3 months.

To find a profile:

  1. Click on the link to Company Profiles in the Browse box:
    Select the Company Profiles link under the Browse options
  2. Type your company name in the search box, click "Browse," and select the link to the PDF report for your company.
    Browsing for a company profile in Business Source Complete

APA Citation Format

References

Marketline. (2012, May 18).BMO Financial Group. Retrieved from http://www.marketline.com/

Medtrack. (n.d.). Pfizer Canada Inc. Retrieved from http://www.medtrack.com/

In-Text Citation

(Marketline, 2012)


Note: Provide the URL of the publisher's home page (in this case Marketline). Do not provide the direct URL to the report, or the name of the database (Business Source Complete).

Company profiles from Business Insights: Global offer a great deal of information about your company, beyond the basic facts.

The categories of information vary according to the company, but typically, you'll find the following types of information:

  • Key information (assets, employees, sales per employee, year founded, location)
  • Companies with similar revenue (this is a global database, so this might include companies from around the world)
  • Industries (take note of the NAICS codes - these can come in handy later, when you're researching the industry and your company's competitors)
  • Business description
  • Key facts (fiscal year, company type, variant names
  • Officers
  • Financials (including historical revenue, income statement, balance sheet, cash flow, ratios)
  • Investment reports
  • Market share reports
  • Rankings
  • SWOT reports

You'll also find links to related articles in newspapers, magazines, trade journals and academic journals on topics such as:

  • Financial data
  • Legal issues
  • Management
  • Operations & technology
  • People
  • Products & services
  • Sales & marketing
  • Statistics
  • Strategy & planning

Tip: Check the dates provided for the information; although most reflect the current year, some are older. In all cases, you'll want to make sure you haven't missed any important recent information about your company.

To find a profile:

  1. Type a company name in the search box and make sure the drop-down box on the right says "Company."
  2. Select your company from the list, or go directly to a category of resources about your company.

APA Citation Format

References

Royal Bank of Canada. (2017). Business Insights: Global. Retrieved from http://bi.galegroup.com/global/

In-Text Citation

(Royal Bank of Canada, 2017)


Note: Provide the URL of the database home page, but not of the specific document.

Passport GMID has two types of company profiles: a local company report and a global company profile (for large, multinational companies). A full report will include the following sections (but keep in mind that not every report will be comprehensive):

Local Company Profile Global Company Profile
  • Strategic Direction
  • Key Facts
  • Company Background
  • Production
  • Competitive Positioning
  • Scope
  • Strategic Evaluation - key company facts, financial assessment, SWOT analysis, key strategic objectives and challenges
  • Competitive Positioning
  • Market Assessment
  • Category and Geographic Opportunities
  • Brand Strategy
  • Operations
  • Recommendations

Tip: Check the date on the profile - most reports are no more than a year old, but you'll want to update information in any report older than 3 months.

To find a profile:

  1. Click on "Companies" in the menu bar, then type the company name in the search box:
    Click on "Companies," then search for your company's name
  2. You'll see the company dashboard; click on the link to the profile you want to see (if there are multiple profiles, you'll want to look at all of them).
  3. To save a copy of the profile, click on the download icon in the top left corner of the screen, then choose the format (PDF).

APA Citation Format

References

Euromonitor International. (2014a, June 26). Estée Lauder Cosmetics Pte Ltd in Beauty and Personal Care (Singapore). Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/

Euromonitor International. (2014b, July 24). Estée Lauder Cos Inc in Beauty and Personal Care (USA). Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/

Euromonitor International. (2014c, July 29). Estée Lauder Cos Inc in Beauty and Personal Care (World). Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/Passport-Home

In-Text Citation

(Euromonitor International, 2014a, p. 8)


Note: Provide the URL of the publisher's home page (in this case Euromonitor). Do not provide the direct URL to the report, or the name of the database (Passport GMID).

Reuters provides current information about a company's performance, as well as news, key developments, and social media activity; you'll find the following categories of information about your company:

  • Overview
  • News
  • Key Developments
  • People (including biographies and compensation, where available)
  • Charts (stock performance over time)
  • Financials (including key ratios)
  • Analysts (stock purchase recommendations)
  • Research (reports available for a fee - don't bother)
  • Pulse (social media - look under News or Key Developments tab)

 

To find a profile:

  1. Click on the search icon at the top right of the screen, then type your company's name into the search box.
  2. From the search results page, click on the "Companies" link, then choose your company from the list.
    Reuters Company Search

APA Citation Format

References

Air Canada (AC.TO). (2015, April 29). Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=AC.TO

Air Canada announces closing of over $1 billion private offering of enhanced equipment trust certificates. (2015, March 25). Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/AC.TO/key-developments/article/3180124

Hodgson, J. (2015, March 30). Nova Scotia firm to file lawsuit after Air Canada accident: CBC. Reuters/ Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/31/us-air-canada-accident-idUSKBN0MP0HF20150331?type=companyNews

In-Text Citation

(Air Canada, 2015)

(Hodgson, 2015)


Note: When referencing the company's main web page on Reuters, use the current date, since the information is reported as of that date.

Morningstar is an investment research company that offers both free and paid content on more than 6,000 investment funds available in Canada. The following information is available for companies listed on the site:

  • Quote (stock price plus summary information: news & events, company profile, key stats, analyst recommendation, competitors, ownership, financials, and filings)
  • Analyst Report (for purchase - don't bother)
  • Chart (interactive, shows stock performance over time)
  • Shareholders(equity and debt, owner activity, fund owners style)
  • Financials (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow over 5 years)
  • Insiders (executive compensation, key executives, board of directors)
  • Performance (return, price history, dividend & splits)
  • Key stats (financials and key ratios over 10 years)
  • Valuation
  • Filings (financial and other documents filed with the government)

To find a profile:

Enter the stock symbol in the "Fund/Stock" search box at the top of the screen, then select a profile from the list (note that there may be more than one entry for your company, if it's traded on more than one exchange):

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