The Ticker Symbol
Hint: Knowing the ticker symbol (or stock symbol) of the public company that you are researching can save you a lot of time when researching public companies.
What is a ticker symbol?
A ticker symbol is an abbreviation that symbolizes the companies' stock name. For example, Cisco Systems has CSCO as its ticker symbol. Find the ticker symbol for a company.
This guide provides an introduction to public company resources at Duke University.
The first step of company research is to determine if the company is publicly or privately owned.
A public company has shares of stock that represent an ownership interest in the company and those shares are traded openly on one or more stock exchange like the NASDQ or NYSE. Public Companies in the United States must file various forms and documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission detailing their financial performance and governance structure. Because of these regulatory requirements, information on many public companies is relatively easy to find.
A private company may have “stock” but that stock is not traded on any stock exchange. Private companies as a general rule do not have to file any documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, finding information on private companies can be quite challenging.