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What is a Company Profile?
Company profiles can include a wide range of information, such as company overview, products and services, financial info, legal issues, sales and marketing, and news. What's specifically in a company profile depends on what your purpose is in creating one.
You can use company profiles and the information contained within them for a variety of purposes. Some of the main pruposes include marketing, competitive intelligence, social awareness, and entrepreneurship.
Public vs. Private
When compiling information on a company, keep in mind that you will likely find much more information on publicly traded companies as opposed to private or closely-help companies.
Public companies have many shareholders and managers. They must maintain strict corporate formalilities and adhere to periodic reporting requirements, especially those dealing with securities.
Private or closely-held companies generally have few owners who are very active in the operations of the company. We generally think of small "mom and pop shops" as private companies, but they can also include large organizations, such as SC Johnson & Sons.
Finding Company Information
Hoover's Academic Database
Hoover's Online is a great first starting place for researching companies. Its comprehensive and timely company profiles contain company overviews and histories, including limited coverage of private companies and subsidiaries. Use this database to compile lists of company competitors, brand/product names, some industry information, and officer names and salaries.
You can locate company information from numerous different places, including the following:
- Trade asociation websites & reports
- Government websites & reports
Mergent Online enables users to view and download basic company information, financial statements and SEC filing documents (including 10-K reports) for publicly traded companies. You can also find financial ratios, stock prices, and biographies of key officers. Financial data may be downloaded in Excel.
Use the "Companies/Markets" tab on the top of the screen to search for your company. Use the interactive graph on the right side of the screen to look at articles about the company that were published on any given day on the chart. Very useful and interesting
Researching a private company? PrivCo is your best tool. The database in-depth reports on non-publicly head companies, including financial data and revenue. You'll also find private M&A deals and deal multiples, private firm valuations, VC funding, private equity deal history; and private and family ownership data.
Note: To use this database, you must create a PrivCo login using your Drexel email address. Each user may download 250 records per month.
D & B Million Dollar Database
Use D&B Million Dollar Database to create lists of companies. Basic directory information from approximately 23 million North American companies, both public and private, may be downloaded into Excel. Search by criteria including company name, size, industry, location, and contact information.
Use the GO bar to search for companies by name. You can create custom watchlists and generate PDF reports on companies. Also provides information on legal cases the company has been involved in. You can search for companies by their financial situation as well.