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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Annual Reports

U.S. Companies

Generally I get current annual reports from AnnualReports.com or one of the EDGAR-related Web sites discussed in the SEC Filings entry. Alternatively, the Public Register's Online Annual Report Service might be able to link you to postings at the corporation's own Web page, or just go directly to the company web site. If that fails, LIVEDGAR has a large collection of annual reports. Also, you could try searching Lexis (FEDSEC;AR) or Westlaw (EDGAR). Or call ThomsonReuters Custom Research Services (301-545-4930 to reach D.C. directly or 800-638-8241 for the toll-free main number) or Business Law Research (877-362-800-669-1154, formerly GSI Document Retrieval and Westlaw Business).

Original Annual Reports: If you need an original Annual Report you can, (1) call the company's investor relations office, and they may send it for free or (2) try to get it from the Public Record's Annual Report Service or AnnualReports.com or (3) buy the report from GSI Document Retrieval (800-669-1154) or a competitor.

Historical Annual Reports: Some good sources:

  • The IRIN Annual Report Resource Center has free annual reports from the 1990s and 2000s;
  • If you have access (e.g., through a university or public library system), Proquest Historical Annual Reports and Mergent Archives both have historical annual report databases;
  • Check your local public library and/or academic business libraries to see if they have annual reports on microform - there was a popular set going back to 1969;
  • ThomsonReuters Custom Research (formerly Disclosure) has a historical collection of Annual Reports (call 301-545-4930 to reach D.C. directly or 800-638-8241 for the toll-free main number).
  • The Library of Congress has a collection of pre-1974 annual reports, but you will have to arrange for document retrieval unless you can make the copies yourself (see the "Document Delivery" section of the Library of Congress entry).

For even older annual reports, Columbia University's Watson Library of Business and Economics has a collection of historical annual reports, most from before 1934. The Library posts a list of reports in the collection in Excel format. If you see what you need on the list, you can contact the library (212-854-7804 or business @libraries.cul.columbia.edu) and request that report be retrieved from off-site storage. (Be sure to identify the document by its bar code number on the list.) If you are not in the New York area, you will have to make special arrangements or send a document retrieval service to get a copy.

Foreign Companies

Annual Reports from companies outside the U.S. are available from:

Free Web postings: Many foreign companies post their annual reports on their Web sites. Links to U.K. annual reports are also through Northcote. If that doesn't work work, search for the company's Web site on one or two good search engines. Alternatively, AnnualReports.com has annual reports for U.K. companies, and Corporate Reports claims to have annual reports for all U.K. companies and the 500 largest European companies.

Online Databases: Foreign annual reports are available through LIVEDGAR, Edgar Online, and the Pioneer database produced by Perfect Information .

One additional subscription-based service: Thomson Research.

Document Delivery Services: You can buy foreign annual reports from the Annual Report Service, GSI Document Retrieval (800-669-1154) and other companies.

See Also
Company Information
SEC Filings
Securities and Exchange Commission

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman