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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Market Share

A company's market share is the total sales of a company's product divided by the total sales of that type product for all companies. Market share data is especially important when structuring mergers, because the merging companies have to show that the merger will not create a monopoly, in violation of the anti-trust laws.

Getting Market Share Data

Business Rankings Annual publishes market share data for a lot of products. The Annual is published as a hardcover book. Unfortunately the data is usually two years old, which is often not useful. Fortunately, there are lots of alternatives.

One set of alternatives: The Market Share Reporter (Gale), the World Market Share Reporter (Gale) and Worldwide Market Share (Richard Combs Associates). The Market Share Reporter and Worldwide Market Share are available on Lexis(MARKET;MKTSHR and MARKET;WLDMKT, respectively).

Cost-effective research: I have had good results searching the RDS TableBase database. TableBase is available on Lexis (MARKET;RDSTBL) and on Gale's RDS Business Suite. If you know the industry leaders, search for their names (see "Lists," below). Otherwise, search for the name of the industry.

As a supplement, you may also want to search the RDS Business & Industry Database, available on Lexis (MARKET;RDSB&I). The Business and Industry database draws its data from the business and general press. You can get market share data by adding the term "market share" to your search.

Reports from IBISWorld Industry Market Research can be quite expensive, but you can often download the Report Overview for free from the Alacra Store, and that may have all the market share information you need. Same thing for the Mintel Shapshot Reports.

Bigger bucks for better results: Analyst reports are your best bet for the most current and most detailed market share information available, as long as at least one of the leading companies in the industry is a public company (see "Analyst Reports" for a discussion of analyst reports, including less expensive alternatives). Note: While Investext is generally the most expensive way to get analyst reports, if you only need to print out the page/screen with market share data, the opportunity to pay by the page (on Investext.com) or print the screen for free (on Lexis) may make them cost-competitive. Westlaw offers a MARKETSHARE database of information drawn from Investext reports.

SEARCH TIP: Searching Lexis or the Analyst Report databases for the names of the companies with the biggest market share can help you zero in on the information you need. (To get these names, see the sources in the "Lists" section below in this entry.)

The easy way: Call NYPL Premium Services (212-592-7200) and have them do it for you.

Other Market Share Matters

Lists: For lists of biggest/best companies in a field, check out Business Rankings Annual, the World Market Share Reporter and/or the Business Rankings page of the Reily Guide. In January, Business Week publishes a Corporate Scorecard listing the biggest companies in various industries with sales, profits & price-earnings figures. You can often get the names of big players by searching in a business news database and/or the Business & Industry Database on Lexis.

If you want to get the names of the biggest local companies in a particular industry, Crain's publishes a series of business magazines covering various large cities, including Crain's New York Business (www.crainsnewyork.com), Crain's Chicago Business (www.chicagobusiness.com/) and Crain's Cleveland Business (www.crainscleveland.com). I know the New York and Cleveland editions publish lists of the biggest local companies in various industries, and most if not all of the other versions probably do too. The New York Crain's posts their Business Lists (you can see the top of some lists for free; the whole list costs a few dollars).

Foreign Countries: One good option to check is the World Market Share Reporter, which is available on Lexis (MARKET;WMKTSH).

See Also
Antitrust Law
Company Information
Industry Reports
Market Research
Trade Journals

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