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BUS 107 - O'Neal: First Steps

This guide will help you find information about companies to prepare you for your persuasive speech.

First Steps

First, you have to find a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). If you want to browse a listing of the companies on the NYSE, go to the NYSE Listing Directory page and click through the alphabet. If you know your company or just want a different search method, try Yahoo Finance or CNBC. Yahoo used to be great for a quick earnings check, but has locked much of their content. CNBC is now the better bet.

A good industry to find money-losing companies (not an easy task with the market running hot lately) would be the energy companies, especially minor players such as Marathon Oil (MRO) and oil services companies such as Diamond Offshore (DO). Another good challenge might be Boeing (BA) with their recent 737 Max problems. The materials sector has been somewhat weak, with Freeport-Mcmoran Inc. (FCX) being one example. JC Penney (JCP) is always an easy target.

***Try the Fortune 500 list and click the Profits Percent Change column to get potential money losers up to the top of the list. A lot will have dashes in the Profits Percent Change column, but go to the second page and you will find companies with big negative changes in profits. These may lead you to companies with quarterly losses, but remember that even though Berkshire Hathaway had a big swing in profits recently, they are still earnings rich!

CNBC is a good site to examine a company's financial statements and trends. Search for a company and make sure it's NYSE-listed:

 Then click the Earnings tab. Right away you will see earnings trends.  Check both the quarterly and annual earnings trends to find a candidate for your project. Below is a screenshot example of the CNBC view of earnings, in this case Freeport-McMoRan:


We can see that the company had some losses in the middle of 2019, so the company meets our needs.