Publicly traded companies in the United States are required to file reports throughout the year with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) including:
You can locate these SEC filings in Mergent Online (a library database) or on the Investor Relations pages of company websites.
In addition to 10-K reports, many companies release annual reports to shareholders that are posted on their websites. Annual reports update shareholders about highlights of the company's year. Reports can usually be found on the company's website under Investor Relations or About Us.
Industry codes are numeric descriptors of an organization's business activities. Organizations may have several codes. They are usually listed in descending order from the primary business activity to those in which the organization has a smaller presence. Codes may be useful when compiling lists of similar businesses.
Which one to use?
The Standard Industrial Classification, or SIC manual, is the older of the two. SIC codes are four-digit numbers, and although this system was superseded by the North American Industry Classification in 1987, many businesses still use it.
The North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS codes, are 6 digits, providing a bit more flexibility in describing business activities.
Most companies use both codes, so it is not necessary to conduct separate searches for each.