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International Trade Research

Doing Company Research

Researching a company can involve a lot of different steps  - you will probably want to know about their history, competition or fiscal year. You might need to find the company's annual report or financial reports, or you might need to find some investor information or even their mission statement and so on.  This is a quick guide to finding information on your chosen company, below  you will find more detailed information on resources to find information on your company.   

  • Use the company's website! Most companies provide the public with plenty of information on their website including: their mission, values, annual reports, and corporate information.

Hint: A company's annual report might include information on exports/imports. 

  • Try to find a Company profile using Business Source Complete. ***Remember to limit your search results to company profiles (located on the right hand side of the page).
  • Try searching for a SWOT analysis of your company. A SWOT analysis measures the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your organization. To search for a report in Business Source Complete simply use the name of your company and SWOT as keywords.
  • Sometimes you will have to try a few different searches to find what you are looking for. The better you know and understand your company or industry, the more luck you may have. If you search for TD Bank, for example, you may not find anything...but, there is a SWOT analysis for TD, it is listed under Toronto-Dominion Bank.

  • Try using Hoover’s Company Records, which provides in-depth records of public and private companies worldwide, and overviews of the key industries in which those companies operate (Available through Nexis Uni).
  • Standard & Poor's Corporate Descriptions & Register is another recommended source that provides strategic and financial information on more than 10,000 publicly-held companies (Available through Nexis Uni).

Our advice: have patience, keep looking, ask for help!

Library Databases for Company Research

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Business Source Complete

Magazine and journal articles, company and industry profiles, SWOT analyses and market, country and product reports. See video below for finding Company Profiles in BSC.

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Canadian NewsStand

Full text access to major Canadian newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Toronto Star.

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CBCA Business

Full text access to Canadian magazines and journals on business, management and related topics.

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IBISWorld produces and publishes over 400 Canadian and 1,300 US Industry Reports at the 5-digit level of the NAICS code. IBISWorld research reports contain trends, statistics & analysis on market size, market share of major companies and industry growth rates.

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Nexis Uni (+ QuickLaw)

Access to 5,600 news, business, legal, medical and reference sources. Now includes QuickLaw with access to Canadian Court cases, tribunals and arbitration decisions.

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Passport GMID

This international database provides access to market reports that analyze consumer and service industries across 80 countries. Also includes company profiles. Industries covered include Apparel, Consumer Finance, Consumer Foodservice and Travel & Tourism.

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Scott’s Ontario Directories

Search company information on 75,000 Ontario companies, by product type, industry classification number, company name, geographic and demographic characteristics. Usage Tip: To save, print or e-mail documents, select Output Manager, Profile Print.

Tutorial: Finding Company Reports in Business Source Complete

How to Find an Annual Report

To find specific information on a company try searching for their annual reports. Annual reports outline a company’s financial situation and provide you with an overall understanding of the company’s year. The first place you should search for an annual report is the company's website itself. However, there are many resources you can consult to find a company's financials:

  • Google - Try a search for your company name AND annual report!
  • Globe Investor - Look up a company to find the latest investing news and analysis, including: Summaries, Charts, Financials, Analyst Ratings, and Competitors.
  • Company Spotlight - Access to current, free annual reports in pdf.
  • SEDAR - System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval - the electronic filing system for the disclosure documents of public companies and mutual funds across Canada. If your company is Canadian and publicly traded, you should find information here. Find your company profile, then click on the "VIEW this Public Company's Documents" link.
  • EDGAR - Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system - database of U.S. corporate information of companies who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).