September 22, 2018

How To Find SEC Filings

All public companies, American and internationally-owned, have been required to submit their annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since 1934. These are called SEC filings and they are done to help investors and stockholders keep up with what’s going on in a company.

Sec Filings

The reports that are required by the SEC must contain detailed information about the solvency and financial position. This information should include year-to-date revenue, recent company events and up-to-date contact details.

The advantage of looking up SEC filings rather than checking a company’s annual report is that they are often edited to make the important details difficult to find. The results of a company’s performance can be smoothed over. SEC filings present the details in a more cut-and-dry style.

All these details are collected through an automated system called EDGAR, which stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval. This system collects and validates details which are then accessible through the SEC website. There is also an EDGAR tutorial available if you are interested in understanding how this system works.

These SEC filings are available free for publicly listed companies. They can be accessed online through the SEC’s website by clicking on the ‘SEC Forms List link’. Once you have selected this link you will be connected with a library of forms containing the various information you’re looking for. Locate the details that you need then head back to the SEC homepage.

Now you are in the right place to look up SEC filings for individual companies. You will find a link called “Companies and Other Filers”. If you are looking for the most recent filings choose “Latest Filings”. These details are generally available for the last financial year.

On the “Companies and Other Filers” page you will be able to look into particular companies that you are interested in. Choose the ‘Find Companies’ link to enter the name of the company that you want to research. If you are interested in more than just the most recent filings click on the ‘CIK’ number beside the company’s name to get all of the company’s filings.

A lot of details are filed by companies and it can be difficult to find the exact information you’re looking for. To avoid wasting time trawling through tons of information you can limit the field of your search results. Look for the ‘Form Type’ option, that will let you enter the date of the filing you need. From there you can decide to ‘Retrieve All Filings’ and ‘Retrieve Selected Filings’. Choose according to your needs.

Now that you have located the specific SEC filings that you are looking for you can choose the manor that you would like to save them as. You can download them onto your computer or print them out as either html or text documents.

Checking a company’s SEC filings before investing can provide valuable information to inform your decision making process. The simplest way to get access to these filings is to check them up on the SEC website.

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