When searching industry information, it is often helpful to have the SIC or NAICS codes for your industry. SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) and NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) are standard numbering systems for identifying the industry affiliation of individual companies. The heirarchical structure of both numbering systems allows for searching broad industry groups as well as specific industry segments. While the SIC system is still widely in use, it is being gradually replaced by NAICS.
Printed code lists are found in the books Standard Industrial Classification Manual (call number [REF] HF1041.U613) and North American Industry Classfication System: United States, 2007 (call number [REF] HF 1042.N67 2007), available in the Reference Collection on the 1st floor of Stapleton Library.
Look up NAICS Codes: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/
View SIC codes: https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sic_manual.html
When searching for company information, one of the first things you should do is determine if the company is Public or Private. Public companies (i.e. companies that issue stock that is publicly traded in the various stock exchanges) are required to make certain information available to potential investors. As a result, it is usually easier to locate information (particularly financial information) about public companies. Private companies (wholly-owned by individuals or families or have stock that is closely-held by a small number of investors) do not have the reporting requirements of public companies. Consequently, finding or verifying information (particularly financial information) is much more difficult for these types of companies.
You should also determine if the company you are researching is an independent company or a subsidiary of another parent company. Information on subsidiaries is often incorporated into the parent company and not reported separately.
One printed source to help determine if a company is public or private is LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations (formerly Directory of Corporate Affiliations) - Call Number [REF] HG 4057.A217 - kept at the Reference Desk in Stapleton Library. The directory also lists subsidiary and parent companies.