Where to get information about companies?

You can find information to be used in the analysis from following sources:

1) Company stock exchange releases and news releases
2) Annual reports, Company www-pages
3) Newspapers, newsletters
4) From company directly (Investor Relations)
5) Company infos, CMD, other visits to company
6) Other sources like: company sales/customer service, customers, competitors

Some information and hints for all of these:

1) Company stock exchange releases and news releases
Company stock exchange releases can be found from company www-pages and always also from stock exchange www-pages. Stock exchange is of course the best place to get these, as it is regulated and has to contain all of the releases and the releases have to be published there first. It is also practical that all the companies you follow have their releases in one place.

Some companies however, publish also news releases. These releases might contain some interesting information about their new products, received orders etc. even though the company has themselves characterized them as "not containing some essential information which might have direct stock price effect". If they would contain such information, then they should of course be published as stock exchange releases. E.g. Nokia publishes about one press release per day but only few stock exchange releases or "company disclosures" per month.

Often companies have also a service where you have to registered as a subscriber to get all the releases that the company publishes directly to your own e-mail address. There are also third party services, which collect and distribute at least stock exchange releases. E.g. Hugin Online offers a free service where the subscribers can get releases directly to their e-mail from companies they want to follow. Notice however that the service does not seem to work for every company: We have had some problems with for example Lassila & Tikanoja and Exel, so make sure that the service works before counting on it too much. Also notice that sometimes the releases are shortened versions of the original releases. In those cases it is normally mentioned in the shortened release itself that the original version can be found at.

2) Annual reports and company www-pages
Annual reports and company www-pages offer of course a lot of such relevant information about the company that cannot be found from any releases. By browsing these sources you cannot only find information about products and services, but also about almost all other things. Even customer orientation, company values and corporate culture can somewhat be sensed by browsing this material.

3) Newspapers and newsletters
Newspapers and vast amount of different www-sites offer also valuable information for the analysts. This information might discuss the company directly or about the products, markets, technologies or competitors it operates closely with. With newspaper supply a very good and real time source for the analysts are the newsletters that are delivered directly to e-mail and are normally free as they are financed with advertisements. In Finland many financial newspapers (like Taloussanomat, Talentum) have this kind of free service.

4) From company directly (Investor Relations)
Company Investor Relation-services are dedicated to offer investors information about the company. Of course they can't reveal anything that might have instant effect on stock price as that kind of information must be revealed to all investors simultaneously with stock exchange releases. So it is no use in asking investor relations about what kind of growth they estimate in their sales or EBIT, but you can ask them relevant background information about the published figures, products, competitors etc. Below is more about this under topic where to get information about competition.

5) Company info, CMD, other visits to company
Companies normally arrange at least some public events per year where the management tells about published result (fiscal year or interim info) or their outlook and strategy in general (CMD = capital markets day). If you have informed company Investor relations-department that you are following the company and your analysis goes to customers through Valuatum Platform and thus through brokers X, Y and Z, then you will be invited to such events. Sometimes these events are also publicly convened. Analysts can also often meet management or CFO personally with meetings scheduled on their own. Especially smaller companies are eager to meet analysts as it is their way to increase their publicity and thus also share liquidity.

6) Other sources like: company sales/customer service, customers, competitors
The best sources of objective information are of course the crucial operating activities: company sales/customer service, customers, competitors etc. If you talk with the big customers of the company and they reveal that they are not satisfied and decreasing - or that they are very satisfied and increasing - the sales from the company, then that is of course the most powerful information that you can have supporting your analysis.