Answered By: Helga Haraldsson
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2017     Views: 2165

Since private companies are not required to report financial data to the government, financial information can be very difficult to get. Doing an article search is your best bet.  

  • If the company is large enough, major papers like the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times may write about them, try ProQuest. Smaller companies may be covered in the local press (local newspapers), try Factiva or LexisNexis Academic. You should also search in trade journals that cover the industries in which the company participates. 
  • Bloomberg may have some information for larger private companies--Bloomberg terminals are located in the Gaughan & Tiberti Business Library (JFF 201), the Accounting Library (ACC 105) and in the computer lab in Popovich Hall (JKP 201). Bloomberg cannot be accessed remotely.   
  • You will also want to look at the company's website. If you do a Google search (or similar search), be careful to critically evaluate your sources.  Be sure you are getting information from a reliable source (verified expert, journal, etc.) as opposed to a blog or some carefully placed data by the company or its competitors. 
  • If the private company is to go public anytime soon they will file for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). You can get the prospectus from EDGAR (publicly available database of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). Thomson ONE may have some pre-IPO information. NOTE: You must use Internet Explorer to access Thomson ONE.

Limited financial information for private companies may be listed in PrivCo.  USC students need to create a unique account before accessing this subscription database. 

For more information, please contact the Gaughan & Tiberti Business Library.

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