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SWOT Analysis: Strengths

Researching & analyzing a company's internal & external environment.

Identifying Strengths

Ask the following questions:

  • What does the company do better than competitors?
  • What are the company's core competencies?
  • What resources does the company have that are unique?
  • What are the company's most valued assets?
  • What intangible assets does the company possess?

What is the CEO Saying?

  • Read interviews with the company CEO to understand it's core values & current strategy
  • Read the CEO's Letter to Shareholders in the latest company annual report
  • Watch the CEO and company officers in investor conference webcasts on the company's corporate website

 

Company Profiles

Obtain a thorough understanding of the company, including its lines of business and revenue streams.

Among databases that provide company profiles are:

Company Performance

Financial securities laws require publicly traded companies to disclose information on an ongoing basis. Form 10-K is an annual report required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that gives a comprehensive summary of a public company's performance and is the most exhaustive source of current corporate information. Although similarly referred to as an "annual report," the black-and-white report in plain text without visuals known as Form 10-K is distinct from the annual report to shareholders and more detailed. The Form 10-K annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the company's business and financial condition and includes audited financial statements. Sections of Form 10-K that may be particularly useful for SWOT analysis include: Item 1. Business, Item 1A. Risk and Item 7. Management Discussion.

Both Form 10-K and the annual report to shareholders may be obtained through corporate websites by clicking on "About Us" or "Investor Relations" links. The following websites and databases are also authoritative sources for Form 10-K.

To obtain SEC filings for individual companies:

  • Perform a "Companies" search
  • Choose "SEC Filings: link under "Financials" heading of Company Index
  • On left-side of page, "REFINE BY FORM TYPE" by choosing "Annual Reports - 10-K
  • Perform a Company search
  • Under "Company Details," choose "SEC Filings"
  • Use ""Filing Type filters" to access 10K reports

Easy-to-access current and historical annual reports and SEC filings, including 10-K reports, for U.S. public companies. Reports are available in various formats, including Excel and PDF.

To obtain SEC filings for individual companies:

  • Go to Mergent Online's Basic Search page
  • Enter a company name or stock ticker symbol
  • Retrieve the search results for your company
  • Click the "Filings" tab in the navigation bar to retrieve the first 25 filings from the last 90 days
  • Click on the link, "Click here for EDGAR search," to customize your search by company, filing date, and filing type