Answered By: Susan Van Alstyne
Last Updated: Dec 18, 2019     Views: 604

An industry analysis examines the “financial health” and state of a particular industry. It differs from a company analysis in that it takes a much broader view of the situation. Do not confuse the two. An industry may not be doing well, but a particular company within that industry may be. Or the opposite could be true, or a company could be in alignment with industry trends.

Industries in the United States are associated with code numbers:

  • NAICS - North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)  Industry OR Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
  • The numbers can be found in Mergent Online database, after you have conducted a search on a company.
  • These numbers can be helpful when searching for industry reports in other databases. But remember, that there are global or foreign companies too, and they will not be classified according to US industry codes.

Suggested Databases to use:

  • Business Insight: Global: Note the “Industries” tab at the top of the page.
  • IBISWorldSearch by keyword, company or code. 
  • Plunkett Research, Ltd. – Browse the “Research & Industry” and explore available options.
  • Mergent Online - If you search by industry code (under Classification Search), you can get a list of companies that fall within that industry. Researching these companies may help you to get a broader picture of the industry.

Something to be aware of:

One company can be involved in more than one industry, or even several industries; they may manufacture items that fall under different industry codes.

For example, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is listed as a “major player” in both these Global reports in IBIS database:

1) Global Semiconductor & Electronic Parts Manufacturing - IBIS World Industry Report C2524-GL

2) Global Consumer Electronics Manufacturing - IBIS World Industry Report C2525-GL

Or a company may own two different kinds of chain-stores – each kind of store may fall under a different industry code.

For example, in IBIS database Walmart Stores, Inc. is listed as a “major player” under two NAICS codes, each with a very different market share of the particular industry.

  • Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters in the U.S./45291
  • Department Stores in the U.S/45211


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