One database that is a good source for industry and company information is Mergent Online. See Exhibit 4-12 for the database's initial search screen. Note that the initial web page that one views of a company is only a summary of the detailed information available from other tabs in the database. Pull up a company in Mergent Online and the same summary information appears on the top of each page. This information includes the sector and the industry of the business, complete with the SIC and NAICS codes. Other summary items include the company's auditor, company website, PE ratio, and various other items.
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When viewing a page in Mergent Online, scroll down to find other types of information that may be available. Note that the trick in maximizing the potential of Mergent Online is to understand that two levels of tabs exist at the top of the database. The top-level tabs include “Company Details,” “Executives,” “Ownership,” “Competitors,” and “Report Builder.” Tabs of particular importance to financial analysts are “Financials,” “Equity Pricing,” “SEC Filings,” and “News.”
Use the second-level tabs for acquiring insightful information. “Ownership Information” includes identification of institutional holdings, insiders, and insider trading. “Competitors” ...