I want to write an application to gather financial information of public companies and bonds for my own research. Is there any place online that I can do this that has a public API?
closed as off-topic by Chris W. Rea, Nathan L, Grade 'Eh' Bacon, Brythan, Michael Sep 28 '17 at 19:36
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I don't know of any free API's for these data, but I'll provide what information I can. Compiling all of this information from the EDGAR system and exposing an interface to it requires a fair amount of work and maintenance, so it's usually market data companies that have the motivation and resources to provide such interfaces. I know of a few options that may or may not be close to what you're looking for.
The SEC provides FTP access to the EDGAR system. You could download and parse the text files they provide.
Yahoo Finance provides summary files of financial statements (e.g., GOOG) as well as links to the full statements in the EDGAR system. Once again, parsing may be your only option for these data.
Xignite, a proprietary market data provider, provides a financial statement API. If you need these data for a commercial application, you could contact them and work something out. (Frankly, if you need these data for a commercial application, you're probably better off paying for the data)
The Center for Research into Security Prices provides data from financial statements. I believe it's also exposed through several of their API's. As with most financial data, CRSP is sort of a gold standard, although I haven't personally used their API to fetch data from financial statements, so I can't speak for it specifically.
Unfortunately, you'll probably have to do some parsing unless you can find a paid data provider that's already compiled this information in a machine-readable format.