Leverage what you learn from company and industry reports to identify competitor and peer firms. You may go beyond the obvious by scanning trade publications and searching business directories by SIC or NAICS codes to identify peers and competitors.
QVC's industry may be variously described as remote shopping, in home shopping, interactive retailing, nonstore retailing, catalog and mail order (SIC 5961) mail order houses (NAICS 454113), cable and other subscription programming (NAICS 515210) . Additional industry reports can be found on the free web however they are very costly. Nonetheless they may provide useful information in the table of contents or executive summary. At the very least they are an indicator of the value of the subscription resources listed here. As the analyst you have to define QVC's industry.
In the US only publically traded companies are required to file financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Thus financial information about private companies or subsidiaries in the U.S. are very limited. You may find news about private company financial performance in the trade literature, voluntarily reported on their web site, reported as s segment on the parents financials statements with the SEC or reported on private company directories such as Hoovers or credit reporting agencies. The following databases provide financial information about companies.
For financial norms of non-SEC filing peers based on IRS filings and credit applications see the following resources:
Using APA Style to cite business articles or trade news is familiar to many. Not so, citing the technical reports and raw data needed for this project. The ALA Style Guide to Electronic References (ironically, only available in print) is probably the best single authority on how to cite reports from MarketLine or Mintel or Market Insight or data series. APAStyle.org provides guidelines without examples. Diana Hacker's Research and Documentation Online offers useful examples of how to cite technical reports and raw data in print.
The elements of a research report citation are as follows:
Souers, M. (2008, September 11). Standard & Poors industry surveys retailing: Specialty. Retrieved from Market Insight.
Datamonitor. (2008, June) Online retail in the United States. (Reference Code 0072-2344) Retrieved from http://www.markelineinfo.com.ps2.villanova.edu/library/Default.aspx.
The elements of data sets:
HSN. Inc company financials 2005-2007. (n.d.) [Data file]. Retrieved on March 8, 2009 from Mergent Online.
Standard & Poor's (n.d.) ValueVision Media Inc. profitability [data file]. Available from http://umi.compustat.com.ps2.villanova.edu.
* The APA Style guide generally indicates that this should be publication date. For dynamic data sets and maps, the guide is silent about what date ought to be included here.