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Information about publicly held companies can be found in directories, financial services, industry analyses, newspaper and periodical articles, in specialized databases and on the company's Internet site. Private companies do not have to disclose detailed financial information to the public. Data is therefore much harder to obtain. Directories and newspaper/periodical articles are often the only published sources. Contacting the Chamber of Commerce/Better Business Bureau associated with a firm is another alternative. The following are sources for you to use:

  • Industry Classification Codes
  • Directories - National
  • Directories - Regional
  • Company Profiles, Histories and Financial Information
  • Annual Reports
  • Industry ratios, ratings, financial statistics, or industry analyses
  • Electronic Resources
  • Internet Links
  • Industry Classification Codes
    Standard Industrial Classification Manual    Ref. HF1041.U613

    North American Industry Classification System    Ref. HF1042.N6 1997
          After the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada, Mexico and the United States developed a joint industry classification system. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) will replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). Tables showing the correspondence between NAICS and SIC are included in the NAICS volume and on the Internet at:

    Directories - National
    Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives    Ref. HG4057.A4
          Includes address, officers, sales, number of employees, stock exchange and SIC codes for over 55,000 public and private companies. Vol. 2 lists company directors and executives and Vol. 3 contains indexes providing industry and geographic access.

    Thomas Register of American Manufacturers    Ref. T12.T6 (across from Ref. desk)
          Divided into three sections: Products and Services containing product, trademark and brand name index, Company Profiles, and Catalog File. Internet access is free at:

    Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies    Ref. HG4057.A575
          Volumes contain alphabetic listing, geographic listing, ranking by sales within SIC listing and state ranking by sales.

    CorpTech Directory of Technology Companies    Ref. HG4057 .A16
          Lists U.S companies that manufacture or develop high technology products.

    National Directory of Addresses and Telephone Numbers    Ref. HF5035 .N37

    Directories - Regional
    Massachusetts Business Directory   Ref. HF5065 .M3 A4 1994-95

    Rhode Island Business Directory   Ref. HF5065 .R5 A4 1995-96

    New England Manufacturers Directory   Ref. HF5041 .H373 1996

    Rhode Island Directory of Manufacturers   Ref. HD9727 .R56 D57 1993-94

    Company Profiles, Histories and Financial Information

    Hoover's Handbook of American Business   Ref. HG4057 .A2861
          Profiles the 750 largest U.S public companies.

    Hoover's Handbook of Private Companies   Ref. HG4057 .A28616
          Profiles the 700 largest U.S. private companies. Hoover's handbooks are also available through LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe online database.

    Moody's Manuals and News Reports
          Use the latest edition of Moody's Complete Corporate Index   Ref.HG4961.M66 to find the company name, and the manual, volume, and page.

    ManualNews Reports
    Bank and Finance HG 4961 .M65 HG 4961 .M651
    Industrial HG 4961 .M71 HG 4961 .M723
    International HG 4009 .M66 HG 4009 .M661
    OTC Industrial HG 4965 .M665 HG 4965 .M66
    Municipal and Government HG 4931 .M58 HG 4931 .M581
    Public Utilities HG 4961 .M7245 HG 4961 .M72451
    Transportation HG 4971 .M74 HG 4971 .M741

    Value Line Investment Survey   Ref. HG4501.V26
          Investment analysis, advice, and statistics for 1700 U.S. company stocks.

    Moody's Handbook of Common Stocks   Ref. HG4501.M59
          Each one-page summary contains price charts and concise financial statistics

    Annual Reports
    S & P 500 & Local Companies
         Located across from the Reference Desk. Check the on-line catalog to see if we have the company in which you are interested. Annual reports are also available through the LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe online database.

    Industry ratios, ratings, financial statistics, or industry analyses
    Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys   Ref. HC106.6.S74
          Includes prospects, trends, statistics, and historical data on major U.S. industries. Previous years editions are located on the third floor in the bound periodical area.

    U.S. Industrial Outlook   Ref. HC101 .U54
          Industry reviews, analyses and forecasts.

    Survey of Current Business   Per. HC101.A13

    Standard & Poor's The Outlook   Ref. HG4501.088
          Keeps private investors, securities dealers, investment counselors and many managers abreast of market developments and helps spot suitable securities investments.

    RMA Annual Statement Studies   Ref. HF5681 B2 R58
          Provides financial ratios for numerous industries. Library has: 1991- Present

    Electronic Resources
    Further information can usually be found in journal or newspaper articles cited in various electronic databases for business and newspapers.

    Ask at the Reference Desk, call x2289, or submit a question online if you need assistance.

    Send comments or questions to Olga Verbeek at
    Revised: June, 1999