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MGT 4380: Compensation Management.: Company Financials

Help With Financials

Sure, you know how to find raw financial numbers (use Mint, Orbis or Mergent for that) but what if you need help figuring out what they actually mean?

There are a lot of helpful books for that.

They are located on the fifth floor:

Browse the HG4028.B area here (includes e-books) note: start with about #10 when you get there

Also helpful: Corporations - valuation


SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These are to-the-point summaries of a specific company's state of existence.

Recommended databases:

Business Source Complete
Marketline Advantage
ABI Inform (search as keywords your company and SWOT)


Passport GMID (there are SWOTs inside, but they are very hard to find).

Research a Company's Financials

Research company financials from public and private companies in our pro-grade databases.

Orbis (more advanced) and Mint (easier to use). Features information on private companies.

Standard and Poor's

Valueline - Basic financials plus analyst recommendations. 


ORBIS Tutorial

HINT: Risk Factors and Business Plans

Another way to get SWOT-type information:

  1. Read 10-K risk factors for analysis: The companies themselves will write risk factors in their annual report.  Annual reports are available on the company's internet site, through the SEC's Edgar database. The relevant section is 10-K 1A "Risk Factors." 
  2. Read S-1 forms for your business plan ideas: When a company sells stock for the first time, it must file a s-1 form with the SEC. This form explains how the company will make money - its business plan!

Quickest way to do this: Go to EDGAR (the SEC database):

  1. Search Most Recent Filings
  2. Limit to S-1 Form 3. Avoid the S-1/A (amendment forms) and read S-1s all day.

Now, one thing you can also do is go to the Edgar advanced search screen and type in a keyword (insurance, computers, etc.) and s-1. This should get you closer to browsing S-1 plans in your field.