In this class you need to be able to research companies. There are two types of companies: public companies and private companies.
Public companies are allowed to sell shares ("stock") to the general public. They are required by law to report quarterly on how they are doing. These quarterly reports and annual reports are a valuable source of information. In the US, public companies are overseen by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Quarterly and annual reports are called "8K"s and "10K"s respectively, after the names of the SEC forms the companies fill out.
Private companies do not sell stock to the general public. Most small companies are "privately held": ownership is held by a small number of people. Private companies do not have to report their financial results to the public. That makes it more difficult to find information about them.
Public companies have investors who are members of the public. Financial information is available on the "Investor Relations" page of the company's web site e.g. Amazon.com Investor Relations.
Financial Information Web Sites
There are many financial information web sites:
- Click on the "News" link to see related news
- Click on the "Industry" link to see reports on other companies in the industry - very useful
- Yahoo! Finance
- Google Finance
- MSN Money
You can type in the company name or the company's stock symbel: e.g. Amazon.com's stock symbol is AMZN.
If you are researching an industry, first try to find a public company in your industry (e.g. if you are doing the voip industry just Google "voip publicly traded"), then just type in the stock symbol to see stock price info and related news