Key Resources for Stock Investment Research - dummies

Key Resources for Stock Investment Research

By Paul Mladjenovic

A wealth of valuable information is available for your investing pursuits. To get a more balanced view of the company and its prospects, take a look at several different sources of information for the stocks you’re researching.

The information and research they provide can be expensive if you buy or subscribe on your own, but fortunately, most of the resources mentioned are usually available in the business reference section of a well-stocked public library.

Value Line

The Value Line Investment Survey, one of many information products provided by Value Line Publishing, Inc., is considered a longtime favorite by many stock investing professionals. You can look it over at any library that has a good business reference department. In the survey, Value Line covers the largest public companies and ranks them according to financial strength and several other key business factors.

Standard & Poor’s

Another ubiquitous and venerable publisher is Standard & Poor’s (S&P). Although it has a number of quality information products and services for both individual and institutional investors, the three you should take a look at are the following:

  • S&P Stock Reports: Available at many libraries, this guide comes out periodically and reports on stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and the largest firms listed on Nasdaq. It gives a succinct, two-page summary of each stock, offering a snapshot of the company’s current finances, along with a brief history and commentary on the company’s activities. This guide also rates companies based on their financial strength.

  • The S&P Industry Survey: S&P gives detailed reports on the top industries, cramming a lot of information about a given industry in four to seven pages. This annual publication provides a nice summary of what’s happened in each industry in the past 12 months, what the industry looks like today, and what the prospects are for the coming year.

    It also provides the important numbers (earnings, sales, and industry ranking) for the top 50 to 100 firms in each industry.

  • S&P Bond Reports: A company’s bond rating is invaluable for stock investors. S&P analyzes the strength of the bond issuer and ranks the bond for creditworthiness. If S&P gives a company a high rating, you have added assurance that the company is financially strong. You want the company to have a bond rating of AAA, AA, or A, because these ratings tell you that the company is “investment-grade.”

Moody’s Investment Service

Another stalwart publisher, Moody’s offers vital research on stocks and bonds. Moody’s Handbook of Common Stocks is usually available in the reference section of a well-stocked library. It offers stock and bond guides similar to S&P and also provides an independent bond-rating service.

A stock rated highly by both Moody’s and S&P is a great choice for investors hunting for value investments.