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BA 205: People, Planet, & Profit

Finding Background Information

The following information source types will be useful for learning about a company's background and history: 

  • Annual Reports (sometimes available on the company's website)
  • Mission, vision, or values statements (often found on the company's "About Us" section of the website)
  • Interviews with company executives or founders
  • Statistics and reports about the company from third-party analysis (available through library databases)
  • Consumer reports and rankings
  • Insider information from employees or customers

Recommended Databases

Reports & Statistics

Business Articles

Company Reports

You can usually find company information and annual reports published for investors on the corporation's sites.
On a company's site, look the fine print links on the bottom of the page or sitemap for links to: 

  • Annual Report
  • Corporate
  • History
  • Investor Relations
  • Suppliers

For example, this 2016 Annual Report for Target can be found on their investors page, as well as their 10k SEC filings

When looking at company information, consider their bias and how a company may want to present themselves to the public and investors. 

An SEC filing is a financial statement or other formal document submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Public companies, certain insiders, and broker-dealers are required to make regular SEC filings and are publicly available.

EDGAR, is the SEC public search interface. You can search for companies by title or file number, and limit by state, country, or standard industry classification codes. 

Government Resources