You work for a business information firm that provides clients with summaries of publicly available information on a range of businesses. Your boss comes to you and says that an increasing number of clients have been asking that the firm develop a catalog of company profiles on businesses that have something to do with the oil and gas industry. The clients want this catalog so that they can quickly identify which companies they may want to carry out additional research on, and possibly have your firm do that research. You’ll need to write company profiles that provide an objective, fact-based summary of:
- What the company does;
- How it has performed; and
- What challenges and/or successes the company has had over the past 3–5 years.
You are to write a profile of either a company that is focused on one activity in the oil and gas industry (e.g., a small exploration and production company, or a small service company whose primary business is drilling wells) or one business unit within a larger company involved in multiple industry activities (e.g., the refining unit of an integrated oil and gas company, or the seismic survey unit of a large, multi-purpose service company).
Preparing the Company/Business Unit Profile
Select a company or a business unit within a company of interest to you that is involved in the oil and gas industry or in providing one or more services to the industry. There are a variety of places to look up candidate companies, one of which is Google Finance (e.g., Google Finance ->Energy->Oil & Gas http://www.google.com/finance?catid=us-TRBC:501020&ei=8x54VvG5Jo2bjAGbnJOoCw and Google Finance ->Energy->Oil & Gas Related Equipment and Services http://www.google.com/finance?catid=us-TRBC:501030&ei=8x54VvG5Jo2bjAGbnJOoCw
Next, track down publicly available information on the company/business unit using as complete and even a mix of the following resources as possible:
- Company web sites.
- Company annual reports.
- Company announcements.
- Market based reports.
- Financial websites (e.g., Yahoo and Google Finance).
- News articles (from newspapers, news magazines, trade journals, etc.).
- Government websites and reports (e.g., www.eia.gov).
The profile should be at least 500 words, but no more than 750 words in length. You should cite the materials you read when writing your company profile and provide a bibliography at the end of your work. For more information about citation, please refer to the Purdue University writing guide. The style of citation is not important. Finally, your report must address the following questions:
Goal 1: What the Company Does
- What company/business unit are you evaluating?
- What is the focus of the company/business unit?
- What sector of the oil and gas industry does the company’s/business unit’s focus fall under?
- Is the company or parent company of the business unit public, private, or government controlled? Explain your basis for categorizing the company as such.
- Which of the following is the company more dependent on demand for, if any: crude oil, raw natural gas, processed natural gas, and/or refined petroleum products?
- Where does the company/business unit operate geographically?
- How does the total size of these operations compare to those of other companies that compete in this sector (e.g., is your company among the top five biggest in the sector, worldwide if international or in the country they operate if domestic)?
Goal 2: How the Company/Business Unit Has Performed
- What has been the overall state of the sector that the company/business unit operates in over the past 3–5 years in terms of product supply, demand, and prices?
- How has the company/business unit done relative to other companies/business units engaged in the same activities?
- Has the company/business unit grown/shrunk/stayed largely unchanged? Why?
Goal 3: What the Challenges/Successes Have Been for the Company
- What have been the most significant challenges and/or successes for the company over the past 3–5 years?
- What challenges/successes does the company/business unit (and/or expert followers of it) say it will be positioning itself for in the next 3–5 years?
- What does the company/business unit (and/or expert followers of it) say are its plans or strategy for the upcoming several years?