Competitive Analysis

Conducting a Competitive Analysis

Often you are asked to find information about a company and its competitors in a particular industry. Questions often asked can be some of the following:

Finding Competitors

LexisNexis Academic . Choose Get Company Info, Company Dossier, Type in Company Name, Check the box - Only show headquarters locations. When a record comes up, look at the Profile, under SnapShot (left column), choose Competitors.

Finding Market Share

Who are the dominant players? This is often mentioned in industry overviews and articles. Search using the company name, industry name or SIC/NAICS codes and terms such as: market share or rank or ranking or top or leaders.

Business Insights: Essentials
Business Source Premier (Original Interface)
Business Source Premier (Special Business Interface)
ABI/INFORM Complete
LexisNexis Academic

Finding a Company's Products/Brands

  1. Go to LexisNexis Academic , choose Get Company Info, Company Dossier. Put in the company name and be sure to check Only Show Headquarters locations. The resulting page should give a Snapshot view, click on Brands to get a list. 
  2. Business Insights: Essentials . Go under Company Search, Search by Name or Ticker You should get a listing with tabs. Choose Products.
  3. Go to the Company's website. Products are usually listed. They will also be usually listed in the Annual Report.

Databases-Find Articles, Analysis, Statistics

Use databases to find articles, analysis and statistics about companies and their competitors.
  • Business Insights: Essentials . Search by Company name or ticker symbol (if publicly traded).   The default,  Company Profile, will give a wide range of selections for you to choose from. You can do an Article Search for the company and then look at the subdivisions (sub-headings). Be sure to look at Investment Reports if available.
  • Business Source Premier (Original Interface) . Search for name of company or ticker symbol in Company entity (search box). You may further limit by Source Type or Publication Type and by Geography.
  • Business Source Premier (Special Business Interface)
  • LexisNexis Academic . You may search in a variety of ways. First go to News, Business and Industry and search for Company name in Headline & Lead Paragraph,  add additional terms if necessary and then choose Specify Date. You can also search Get Company Info, Company Dossier by Company Name or Ticker, limit to Headquarters. Then choose from various choices in the left hand column.
  • ABI/INFORM Complete

SEC Documents/Reports/Conference Calls

Often SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) documents can help to develop a competitive analysis. The documents that one should look at are the Form 10-K (official, auditied yearly financial report), Form 10-Q (unaudited quarterly reports), and 8-k (covers a wide variety of business situuations such as joint ventures, arrangements, etc.) Be sure to look in the  Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) sections. You might also go to the company website (do a Google Search) and also look at the Annual Report.

* EDGAR Database (Securities and Exchange Commission) . Go to Search for Company Filings, then search using either name or ticker symbol.

SEC Info
Securities Information from the SEC EDGAR database. Search by Name, Industry, Business, SIC Code, Area Code,Topic, CIK, Accession Number, File Number, Date, ZIP. You may have to join but membership is free.

* Seeking Alpha . Here you will find transcripts of Corporate Conference Calls in which various management for the company will discuss everything from financials to new products and marketing. A great source of usually very detailed information about strategy and why a company may be introducing certain products and whom they are aimed at. Look under Business Intelligence, Transcripts.

Company Investor Relations Websites-most companies have an Investor Relations page. Type the name of the company you are interested in in a search engine and add the word, Investor Relations. Go there and find news, conference calls, annual reports, sustainability reports and other documents which will give insight into the inner workings of the company.