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Business & Management: Industry & Companies

Researching a Specific Company 

A good place to start for company information is the company's own website.  These can be either:

  • The "brand" website: used to promote the business to the customer 
  • The "corporate" website: used for other businesses, newspapers, the media and students/staff doing research (this will include annual reports, news and press releases, stock ticker symbol, corporate information and key members of staff)

Be sure to use the Corporate site rather than the Brand, or consumer, site. For example, is the consumer site, and is the Corporate site. A couple of Web sites to find appropriate corporate Web sites are Yahoo Finance and Google Finance. When looking for investor information, you may need to use a website's "Site Map" to find the Corporate information.

What About Industry Codes?

The "industry code" is a numeric method of classifying/identifying companies by their main line of business for the purpose of monitoring industry performance.  Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is a 4-digit code in use until the signing of the NAFTA treaty.  In 1997 a 6-digit system known as the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) replaced the SIC code.  Canada and Mexico are included in NAICS system.

Why is this important?

  • Easy to identify specific companies within an industry.
  • Many companies have more than one industry code.
  • Several print & electronic resources use these codes for grouping related companies and industries.

Where can I find an industry code?

There are a variety of resources to use to locate an industry code for a specific industry. The resources listed are good starting places.

What About Ticker Symbols?

Ticker symbols are short abbreviations representing publicly traded shares of a particular traded stock on a particular stock market.  An easy place to find a ticker symbol is by searching Business Insights by company name. On the company profile, the ticker symbol is located in the upper left-hand corner of the company profile.