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This guide is designed to provide a starting point for agribusiness researchers.

Find the Ticker

Company Research in Seven Steps

Start with these basic steps to business research 

  1. Is your company-
    • Publicly traded or privately owned?  You'll find more information on publicly-traded companies' due to requirements to file statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
    • Look for a ticker symbol (unique identifier for a stock).  Google company name, search the database Mergent Online. See Find the Ticker.
  2. Try the following databases to locate company profiles: Business Insights: Essentials, Mergent Online.
  3. Check the company website for news and publications links, but review this information critically. The company's website is a marketing tool, typically used to showcase company accomplishments.
  4. Search library business databases for current articles, legal action, and product news. 
  5. Company financials.  Annual reports are useful, but remember, these documents are directed to shareholders and typically emphasize positive achievements.  Look for form 10-K documents and interim financial statements filed with the SEC for more objective information.  Find them on EDGAR and in library databases (Mergent Online, Business Insights: Essentials, for example).
  6. Identify company strategies, usually stated in "Item 1. Business" of the 10-K.  ​​
  7. Locate industry profiles and identify your company's competitors (IBISWorld).

See Where to find it in a Database, a chart indicates which databases to search for specific types of information (industry reports, articles, SWOT analysis, etc).

Business Databases

Below are databases covering all aspects of business, including agriculture. For the full list of business databases, check here.

Researching a Company's Supply Chain

  Finding company supply chain processes may present some challenges:

  • companies don't want to reveal this information to competitors.
  • company supply chains may be too diverse or numerous.

Databases to consult:

  • Search business databases using various keyword combinations.  For example, search the company name AND "supply chain"; or the industry AND "supply chain"
  • Consider these keywords: procurement, purchasing, suppliers, logistics, and operations management in conjunction with your company and/or industry.
    • ABI/Inform Collection
    • Business Source Ultimate
  • Search company SEC filings (10-K, 10-Q, 8-K reports)
  • Use the browser find function (Ctrl F) to search through these documents for terms described above.
    • Mergent Online​
  • Industry reports may include some general supply chain information as well.
    • IBISWorld

Agriculture Databases

 Below are three databases dedicated to aspects of Agriculture.  For the full list of the Agriculture databases, check here.