University of Pittsburgh's Homepage

Industry Research

SIC and NAICS Codes

Industry overviews, trends, and projections

Market Share and Company Rankings

Current Activities

Identifying Companies within an Industry

Financial Ratios

Free Online Resources

Also visit the Business Statistics page

Keep in mind the questions to consider mentioned on the introductory page while doing your industry research.

Look for articles when searching for current activities in an industry.

Industry Overviews, Trends, and Projections

The amount of information will vary depending upon the industry and the resource used, though these resources might provide all the information you need. Be prepared to include alternate names for your industry as well as broader and/or more specific industry categories in your research.

  • Business Source Complete *: Some of this research is in the form of background information while other research will take a microscopic look at specific aspects of an industry.
  • Business and Company Resource Center*   Provides industry reports based on SIC and NAICS codes, as well as company info and articles. In the advanced search mode, you can search the full text of industry reports for mentions of products or  sub-industries.
  • Global Market Information Database* Provides data for many countries on consumer market sizes, market data & forecasts, consumer lifestyles, companies and brands, and business information sources.
  • IBISWorld* Provides industry outlook, major competitors, operating conditions, and key statistics.
  • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys: Provides extensive industry reports (from Standard and Poor's) with focus on current situation and outlook. Although the focus is on the United States, an international perspective is often included. Summary data on major companies and a section on how to analyze a company is included for each industry.

    New volumes are published quarterly with each industry being updated twice a year.

    HILLMAN LIBRARY - Reference   (HC106.6 S74)

  • Sports Business Research Network

Sports industry reports and market research

  • Value Line

Evaluates on the performance and economic outlook of industries and the major public companies within them.
HILLMAN LIBRARY - Reference Desk
BUSINESS LIBRARY - Reference / Circulation Desk

A good source for comparing the key companies in an industry. It contains comparative financial statistics on 3,000 public companies arranged in 137 industry groups.

  • Mergent's Industry Review

A good source for comparing the key companies in an industry. It contains comparative financial statistics on 3,000 public companies arranged in 137 industry groups.

Market Share and Company Rankings

Market Share is the percentage of sales that a brand or company has for a specific product or product category.

  • IBISWorld* Market share information is located in the "major companies" section of their reports.
  • Search for articles using the term “market share” and the company name or product name. Articles may be the only way, if any, to find market share data for specific products. (Try this strategy in Business Source Complete * and Academic Lexis Nexis*)

Companies can be ranked in other ways as well. Industry overviews and articles may provide additional rankings. When using a list of rankings, be sure you know exactly what is being ranked. Categories range from specific products to extremely broad industries. Some resources provide rankings by SIC/NAICS codes; be sure of exactly what is included in the code you are using. Also, be alert that since companies are often only listed under their primary code, some rankings lists may be missing key performers that are more involved in another industry. Additionally, sales and employee figures provided may be for the overall corporation and not just for the segment represented by the given code.


Current Activities

Refer to the Business News Resources page to locate information regarding the current activities taking place in an industry. News articles can update the information obtained from the background resources. Articles, both current and historical, may also fill in any gaps in your industry profile.

If you were unable to find an industry profile, which may be especially true when researching a narrowly focused industry or a specific product, use the indexes listed to find articles which may provide a profile. If a profile is still not found, use news articles to develop your own profile.


Identifying Companies within an Industry

In some industries, a small number of companies may dominate the industry. Therefore, information on one or two of those companies may provide an indication of the state of the overall industry.

To generate a spreadsheet of companies within an industry, use the advanced search feature of Mergent Online* or the “Dossier, create company list” feature of Academic Lexis Nexis.* For help, contact us. It will be helpful to know the NAICS code or the SIC code when identifying companies within an industry. If you want a list of top companies in rank order, check the Market Share and Company Rankings section above. 


Financial Ratios

Financial ratios such as earnings per share are figured by comparing two different elements of a company's financial statement. They are a common means of determining a company's performance and strength by comparing that company's ratios with those of the industry overall. The following resources provide financial ratios for industries. Each of these titles will cover different industries, include different companies in those industries, provide different data and ratios, and present the results differently. Use all three resources to determine which ones best meet your needs.

  • Mergent Online*  ratios available under “company financials” tab.


  • Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios: Often referred to as the Troy Almanac.
    HILLMAN LIBRARY – Reference Desk (HF5681 R25 A45)

    BUSINESS LIBRARY - Reference (HF5681 R25 A45)


  • RMA Annual Statement Studies: Published by Robert Morris Associates.
    HILLMAN LIBRARY - Reference Desk. (HF5681 B2 R6)

    BUSINESS LIBRARY - Reference (HF5681 B2 R63)


  • Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios: Published by Dun & Bradstreet.
    HILLMAN LIBRARY - Reference Desk. (HF5681 R25 I53)

    BUSINESS LIBRARY - Reference (HF5681 R25 I53)


Free Online Resources

  • BizStats - Industry Statistics and financial ratios
  • Census of Manufactures - From the U.S. Census Bureau, provides comprehensive statistics about manufacturing establishments, activities and production. Includes data on type of business, geographic location, type of ownership, total revenue, annual and first quarter payroll and employees in the pay period
  • County Business Patterns - County Business Patterns is an annual series that provides economic data by industry, and is useful for studying the economic activity of small areas. The site also provides information on Metro Business Patterns (MBP) and ZIP Code Business Patterns (ZBP)
  • Current Industrial Reports - The Current Industrial Report (CIR) program provides monthly, quarterly, and annual measures of industrial activity, including data on production and shipments of selected products
  • 2007 Economic Census - The 2007 Economic Census provides a detailed portrait of the United States economy, from the national to the local level, and covers most of the U.S. economy in its basic collection of establishment statistics. Business establishments in the economic census are grouped into industries based on the similarity of their production processes
  • International Trade Administration including the Office of Industry Analysis - Provides information including international statistics, industry analysis, competitiveness, trade data as well as recent reports and news about a number of different industries
  • Plunkett Research Online - Includes videos, statistics, company profiles, associations/professional organizations, market research/trends and glossary of definitions
  • Industry Outlooks -Deloitte offers industry prediction reports for state government, banking and securities, commercial real estate, energy and resources, insurance, payments, process and industrial products, renewable energy, retail and talent strategies industries
  • Standard and Poors Industry Scorecard (.pdf) - Standard and Poor’s Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is an industry taxonomy developed for use by the global financial community.This PDF includes financials for the 10 sectors, 24 industry groups, 68 industries and 154 sub-industries into which S&P has categorized all major public companies
  • Yahoo Industry Center with browsable Industry Index - Find financial market data by industry, compare performance of top companies within an industry, and find news and top-ranked analysts

Sites for Specific Industries

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