Monday, January 24, 2011

SEC Filings Basics

Ever wonder about the SEC, not the colledge division but the Securites and Exchange Commision. Here is brif overviewof the SEC and how to use their website to research publicly traded companies filings.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies to make pertinent financial information available to the public. This information benefits large institutions and individual investors. Some of the information that companies must disclose include annual and quarterly filings, on forms 10-K and 10-Q, respectively; documents relating to offers to purchase large portions of the company; and filings regarding mergers and acquisitions. Investors can access the information through the EDGAR database on the SEC website. The EDGAR database serves as an electronic filing cabinet holding the latest information and filings from public companies.

Step 1

Access the EDGAR database on the internet through the SEC website, located at Click on the link, Quick EDGAR tutorial, which is found on the SEC website’s home page. This tutorial gives users information on navigating the EDGAR database.

Step 2

Click on the Companies and other Filers link that is on the Edgar Tutorial page. This link provides users with a search box to research a company’s SEC filings.

Step 3

Enter either the company’s name or ticker symbol into the search box. This will bring up the most recent SEC filings of a company.

For those not interested in a certain company but instead are interested in specific filing activity, there is a link to latest SEC filings. Instead of searching by company, SEC filings can be researched by State or filing number. Information gathered from the EDGAR database or any other source is not a guarantee of the future performance of a stock’s share price.


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