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Company Research: Current Events

Rankings

You can see different rankings of companies on the Forbes Lists by sales, profits, assets, or market value.

The annual Fortune 500 rankings, which actually covers 1,000 companies, are based on revenues.

The new Inc. 5000 is a list of the fasting-growing companies in the U.S.

Millward Brown's BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands is a ranking of the world's most valuable brands in 13 product categories.

Insurance firms are rated according to their financial strength by A.M.Best Ratings & Analysis (registration required).

Several different rankings lists are provided by Temkin Experience Ratings, including Customer Service, Forgiveness, Loyalty, and Trust.

For environmental friendliness, consult the Green Rankings 2012 from Newsweek.

Who Owns Whom

Displays of company listings in the ReferenceUSA database include internal links to subsidiary and parent companies, where applicable. (Rutgers-restricted Access)

LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations (DANA Business Reference, CARR Business Counter 1). Includes key officers, addresses and products of over 28,000 companies. Arranged in 3 sections: foreign parent companies with international subsidiaries and divisions; US parent companies with foreign holdings; and a geographical index.

For media companies (radio, TV, cable, newspapers), refer to Who Owns What from the Columbia Journalism Review.

Who Owns Whom in Tech is a short set of slides covering ten major information and computer technology firms and their subsidiaries.

For the auto industry, refer to Who Owns Who in the Car Industry and Who Owns Who in the Automotive Industry?.

Family-owned or family-run firms are the subject of various Current Working Papers by Prof. David Reeb of Temple University. He offers a downloadable spreadsheet of S&P 500 companies and their ownership status between 1992-1999.

Current Events

To find information on lawsuits and legal claims, refer to the "Legal Proceedings" section in the SEC Form 10-K, via Hoover's Online. This site allows individual sections of SEC filings to be displayed after a company search has been conducted. Of historical interest is the Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade (1990's) as tallied by Corporate Crime Reporter, a legal newsletter.

The IntelliConnect database (Rutgers-restricted Access) has a section for SEC Enforcement Actions, with decisions, reports, and court judgements for companies (and individuals).

Learn about company failures with Autopsy.io, which links to recent press coverage of start-ups that did not succeed.

Look up patent filings (from 1790 to present) on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Database; choose Quick Search, enter the company name as Term 1, and select "Assignee Name" in Field 1. More intellectual property resources may be found on the Patents Guide maintained by Connie Wu.

Search for registered trademarks with the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System. Use the Structured Form Search; enter the company name as the Search Term, and select "Owner Name" as the Title Field.

On the Web, insider trading reports by company or insider name are available, with a six-month delay, from SECForm4.com

Credit ratings for U.S. businesses are available on ReferenceUSA. (Rutgers-restricted Access) Non-Rutgers users can obtain similar business credit ratings from Credit.net for a small fee.

Search for corporate foundations and other grantmakers with Foundation Directory Online. (Rutgers-restricted Access) You can also pull up the 50 Largest Corporate Foundations for each state, ranked by total giving.

Or read Giving in Numbers, an annual report from the CECP on trends in corporate giving.

If you are wondering whether American corporations have an influence on the political process, the Organization Profiles from OpenSecrets.org will let you search by donor name (company or foundation or PAC) for lobbying data and campaign contributions.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is presented each quarter by the University of Michigan Business School. The focus is on goods and services from major companies in a few dozen industries.

Initial Public Offerings may be tracked at Hoover's Online - IPO Central, with links to the SEC S-1 filings.

Inappropriate health, safety, and working conditions at companies are often brought to the attention of the federal government, and the Department of Labor maintains a database of Enforcement Data that is searchable by company, industry, ZIP code, and state. Compare that with this database from Good Jobs First - Violation Tracker - which is much easier to use than the Labor Department's website.

You can use the Subsidy Tracker from Good Jobs First to see what financial incentives were granted by state government agencies to companies to encourage job creation or economic development.

The 2009 edition of Market Share Reporter is available as a Rutgers-restricted resource.