What information should I research about a company prior to investing in them?

What websites should you visit to learn more about a company before you decide to invest in them? What numbers should you research before investing (e.g. EPS, beta, MACD)?

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December 2017

It's great that you are putting the effort to learn about investing. I want to point out that you have mentioned terms that are fundamental (EPS), quantitative/statistical (Beta) and technical (MACD). I would suggest you pick the method that best suits you. Personally, I prefer fundamental analysis.

To perform fundamental analysis, you must analyze

1) How much the company is earning: EPS, cash flows, profit margins.

2) How they are earning it:  Are they capital intensive (Capex), how much debt if any are they using (Debt/Equity, Net Income/Interest Expense), Operational efficiency (Turnover ratios), how do they make money? 

3)  How are their earnings expected to grow (Industry prospects, company's competitive strengths, earnings growth)

4) How much are you paying for the company (P/E ratios, Price/Cash flows, discounted cash flow analysis)

Not everything is based on numbers, there is also a lot of qualitative analysis such as understanding the product/service and quality of management.

One of the best source of information is the company's website which usually has a lot of information about the company. The 'Investor Relations' section usually has a lot of information such as presentations, earnings reports/transcripts, annual report and SEC filings such as 10K, Proxy statements etc. Other sources of information could be third party sources such as Morningstar, yahoo finance, google finance and if you can get it Bloomberg. 

December 2017