Yes, I work in a law library, but a lot of my research work is business research. Each of these items has been helpful for me on several occasions.
For some reason I can never find the free version easily on search engines. I wonder if they’re using robots.txt to turn them away… – so I’m linking to them here. In case the URL changes, here’s how you navigate to them from Thomson Reuters home page:
Business Units / Financial / then in the Resources section on the lower right hand side of the page.
Although there are commercial services which also monitor deals, most of the people I work with only care about these free ones. I wonder if it’s because they are free and accessible, that they have become the defacto benchmark.
2. Yahoo Finance for historical Australian share prices
For people who can’t afford a Bloomberg terminal or products like FinAnalysis, Yahoo Finance (or Yahoo7 Finance as it’s branded in Australia) is the next best thing. Even the Australian Stock Exchange, which only provides extremely limited historical share prices on its official website, unofficially recommends Yahoo Finance for historical research. The site isn’t perfect – its share prices certainly don't go back to the 1980s, but for a lot of the requests I get, its range is sufficient and it is very easy to use.
The biggest difficulty with using Yahoo Finance is to get my internal clients to accept it as a legitimate information source. If there’s no “official” source for this data, they’re all unofficial. Then it all comes down to how the brands of the different sources are perceived. Let me just say that Yahoo is not a brand that is highly regarded by Australian lawyers. But if they cross checked the Yahoo data with prices from back issues of the Australian Financial Review newspaper, and saw no difference, would that change their perception?
Researching privately held international companies is one of the more difficult things to do in business research, especially when you’re not at all familiar with how a country regulates companies. Karen Blakeman’s list provides a very useful starting point.
Because in the USA, private companies are registered by state governments, Karen also has links to the relevant state government agencies.
Do you know of any other good free business research resources? Hoarding information is unlibrarianly (if that's a word) and ultimately self-defeating, so please leave a comment with your business research tip or secret.