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BA 497: Business Policy, Strategy, and Ethics (James): Company Research

This guide will help you with your research

Company Financial Information

***If you are searching S&P Net Advantage with Google Chrome and receive an error message, try clearing your cache and possibly restarting your browser***

Example: I need balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement data for Walt Disney.

  • Type either Walt Disney or the the ticker symbol (DIS) into the search box and select The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)
  • On the left-hand side, scroll to the Financials/Valuation section and select either income statement, balance sheet or cash flow statement
  • Data can be downloaded into Excel

Example: I need ratio data for Walt Disney.

  • Type either Walt Disney or the the ticker symbol (DIS) into the search box and select The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)
  • On the left-hand side, scroll to the Financials/Valuation section and select "Ratios"

Example: I need SEC Filings for Walt Disney.

  • Type either Walt Disney or the the ticker symbol (DIS) into the search box and select The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)
  • Scroll down the left-hand side of the screen and click the link for SEC Filings
  • Select the latest 10-K file. You can consult the 10-Q's for more updated information
  • The "Risk Factors" section will be useful for your SWOT analysis
  • Search the document for terms such as competition, suppliers, segment, etc.

Example: I need the bond rate for Walt Disney.

  • Type disney into the search box and select The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)
  • On the left-hand column, scroll down to Fixed Income and select Securities Summary
  • Go to the line titled Current YTW to obtain the current yield

Example: I need income statement, balance sheet and cash flow data for Walt Disney.

  • Type in either Walt Disney or the ticker symbol (DIS) into the box
  • Click Go
  • Click Company Financials
  • Use the pull-down menu to select the type of financial data (Balance Sheet, Income Statement or Cash Flow)
  • Use the pull-down menu to select the number of years of financial data (3, 5, 7, 10 or 15)
  • Use the pull-down menu for As Reported Currency to change the currency from Euros to US Dollars
  • Click Refresh
  • Click the link for Ratios. The ratios will include the effective tax rate which is needed for calculating the cost of capital.
  • Select the Years you need with the pull-down menu
  • Click Refresh

Example: I need ratio data for Walt Disney.

  • Type in either Walt Disney or the ticker symbol (DIS) into the box
  • Click Go
  • Click the tab for Company Financials
  • Click the link for Ratios
  • Click the arrow icon by the ratios to obtain information about the ratios were calculated

Example: I want to compare Walt Disney with some of its peers.

  • Type Walt Disney or the ticker (DIS) into the search box and click Go
  • Click the tab for Competitors
  • Click the "X" for companies you want to remove
  • Search for companies such as Netflix or Six Flags Entertainment Corp and click "add"
  • Click  +To Company Analysis List at the top of the screen
  • Click the link for "My Mergent Tools"
  • Click the link for Company Comparison Report
  • Select your companies by clicking >>
  • Click the plus signs + for Financials and Ratios
  • Click the types of financials and ratios that you need
  • Click > to add the financials and ratios
  • Click the box for Include Average
  • Select the years you want
  • Use the pull-down menu to select Microsoft Excel format
  • Click Create Report

Example: I need a 10-K report for Walt Disney.

  • Type Walt Disney or the ticker symbol (DIS) into the search box
  • Click Go
  • Click the link for Reports
  • The beginning section on risk factors will be helpful for the SWOT analysis. 
  • Search the document for terms such as competition, suppliers, segment, etc.

If you don't locate a company's bond rate in S&P Net Advantage, check the 10-K reports for "Senior Notes."

 

Alternative method for obtaining bond yields:

Step One: I need bond rating information for Walt Disney.

  • Type in either Walt Disney or the ticker symbol (DIS) into the box
  • Click Go
  • Select Walt Disney
  • Click the link for Long-Term Debt
  • Please note: Many companies do not issue bonds.
  • Click the link for a recent bond- one that hasn't matured yet
  • Look for the bond rating from Moody's
  • This search indicates that Walt Disney has a bond rating of A1

Step two: consult the average bond yield table:

After locating the corporate bond rating, consult the scanned image of the Bond Yield Table from the Mergent Bond Record (See Below for the link to the table). These tables will give the average yields for bonds with a given rating. The source of this table is the following reference book: Mergent Bond Record. N.Y.: Moody’s Investor’s Services Payson (Ref. HG4905 .M78). . The “Corporate Bond Yield Averages” table only provides composite ratings for companies with a minimum rating of Baa.

Company Articles and SWOT Analysis

This is a good resource for articles on your company.

Example: I need a sample SWOT analysis for Walt Disney.

  • Type walt disney into the first box
  • Type swot into the second box

Example: I need articles that describe how Walt Disney is run.

  • Type walt disney into the first box 
  • Type organizational or culture or employees or personnel management into the second box and click Search

Example: I need some articles on Walt Disney's strategies.    

  • Type walt disney into the first box and select CO Company Entity with the pull-down menu 
  • Type business planning or strateg* into the second box and select SU Subject with the pulldown menu and click Search    
  • If you need to limit your search to newer articles, go to the publication date section on the left, enter the range you need and click Update

Example: I need articles on Walt Disney and their customers.

  • Type walt disney in the first box
  • Type customers or consumers into the second box and click search

Example: I want some articles on lawsuits involving Walt Disney.

  • Type litigation or lawsuits or regulations or FTC into the first box
  • Type walt disney into the second box and click search

Example: I need a SWOT analysis for Walt Disney.

  • Click the box for "A Publication"
  • Type globaldata into the "Find Publication" box and select GlobalData Company Profiles
  • Type walt disney swot analysis into the "Search for Something Specific?" box
  • Click search

Example: I need a Hoover's profile for Walt Disney

  • Click the box for "A Publication"
  • Type Hoover into the "Find a Publication" box and select Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
  • Type walt disney into the "Search for Something Specific?" Box
  • Click search

Example: I need articles about Disney and lawsuits.

  • Click the box for News
  • Type disney lawsuits into the "Search in All News for" box
  • Use the pull-down menu to change the date range to the last few years (e.g. September 23, 2020 to the present day)

Click the box for Select/Deselect All

Click Continue

This will allow you to search all of the EBSCO article databases that cover topics ranging from business, economics, political science, education and psychology simultaneously.

Investment Reports

Types of information available from Refinitiv:

  • In-depth research reports from companies like Morningstar, UBS, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Trefis, RBC, Barclay's, etc. Avoid the reports from BuySellsSignal Research and Minkabu.
  • Environmental Social Governance (ESG) indicators
  • SWOT Analyses
  • Supply Chain (referred to as a "Value Chain"
  • Peer Analysis (available for diversity & inclusion, profitability, fundamental ratios, peer comparison (data like P/E ratios, beta)

Researching Private Companies

Researching private companies is more challenging than publicly-traded companies since they are not required to report information to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). In most cases you will not be able to obtain financials statements such as income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements for private companies.

One approach that students have used in the past when researching privately-held companies is to locate a similar public company and use their financials as an example or proxy.