If you are looking for an Introduction & Overview to Corporate Annual Reports & 10-K Report then you need to switch gears to get an introduction of what these documents are about.
The Hatfield Library offers access to 5 subscription based databases that can help you find a publicly traded corporation.
Each of these databases offers its own unique snapshots of publicly traded firms. Some offer links to deeper & more expansive analysis, while others only offer brief current overviews.
If you want to be comprehensive, and have the time, then you should run your particular company through all 4 of databases.
Ward's Business Directory
Online directory of over 100,000 companies in USA. Provides brief snapshots about Private and Public corporations. Search options include: Keywords in description, City, State, Zipcode, Area code, Names of officers, and SIC/NAICS codes. Unfortunately, the creator of this database aggregates two other databases with the same login, so every time you want to use the Ward's Directory, you have to specify which of the 3 underlying databases you really want to use.
Business Insights : Global
By starting off with the "Companies" option within this database, you can obtain snapshot views of individual companies, by SIC code, NAICS code, keywords to describe a product/service, as well as searching for a specific brand name. A key strong point is when this database offers you a company history, it can be very rich, as well as digging historically into a colorful cast of characters. Sadly, these corporate histories are not available for every publicly traded firm. Recently they added in a collection of thin sized SWOT reports. Business Insights : Global also offers the ability to jump up to the ultimate parent company, which is essential when trying to obtain financial statements from the SEC, or directly from a publicly traded firm. In addition to providing directory information about companies, this database also can locate articles about a firm or an industry within trade magazines. The same BIG database also provides access to a wide variety of trade magazines and academic journals.
Hoover's Online Business Network
This database provides snapshot sized profiles of individual companies, and offers the ability to determine major competitors in the same industry, and obtain lists of a few other companies in the same industry grouping. This continually updated database offers low level services free to anyone. A number of features are only accessible if you purchase a professional level of service. Willamette University subscribes to the middle level of coverage. The information obtained from this database should open doors for further research that you can perform, by broadening the companies & keywords that you should be focusing on.
This database centers around publicly traded corporations that are being analyzed as potential stock market investments. This resource carries the most comprehensive financial data amongst the 4 databases mentioned here. Quarterly & annual data can go back as far as 15 years When you log into Mergent Online, the first thing that appears underneath the blue banner on the left side is a box containing some options, starting with "USA Company Database" and also "International Company Database". You must use the “Company Search “ box to enter the name of a company, then click on the GO button next to it, to process your request. If there is only one publicly traded company found in the Mergent Online database matching your phrase, then the system will immediately pull up Company Details for that firm (which includes the company's stock market trading symbol). If there are multiple matches to you search phrase, then you will see a summary of the companies that match your search criteria. The Mergent Online database also contains a growing number Annual Reports to Shareholders. But you should be warned that these are typically large PDF document files, and are slow to load onto any computer.
For an explanation of which types of businesses are required to comply with the SEC laws & regulations for mandatory filing of Annual Reports to Shareholders, and annual filing of the 10-K reports, please go to this Introductory resource.