Michigan State University

Green Business

Introduction to Company Research

When researching a company, it is important to know whether it is public, private or a subsidiary of a larger company.

Public companies sell shares of the company (stocks) to the general public, and are required to submit financial information and annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Public companies are therefore easier to research as a general rule of thumb.

Private companies do not sell publicly traded stocks and as a result, are not required to release as much information to the government or the general public  They are therefore more challenging to research.

Subsidiaries of public companies can be difficult to research because the parent company is not required to report on each of them individually.  Therefore, when researching a subsidiary, you often have to read carefully through reports about the parent and look for references to the subsidiary.

Company Research Resources

Business News

Sustainability Rankings and Indexes

“Sustainability indexes are designed and built with the goal of providing information to institutional and retail investors that value the importance of the companies’ environmental and social responsibility and corporate governance in their everyday management, in addition to economic results, in their decisions to purchase share." Beatriz Fernández, environmentalist and professor at the Instituto Superior de Medioambiente (Higher Institute of the Environment).

Michigan State University