Form 10-K

Form 10-K Overview

The form 10-k is a summary of a company’s performance over a year. The report must be filed within 60 days after the end of the fiscal year. Law by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires the 10-K. The 10-K must be submitted to shareholders at a company’s annual meeting to elect directors. A big misconception regarding the 10-K is that it only has to be filed by public companies. The law requires that any company with more than $10 million in assets and whose securities are held by more than 500 owners must file the annual report. The truth of the matter is that if a Initially the 10-K could be filed with the SEC within 90 days of the fiscal year, but that timeframe was shortened to 60 days in 2002. This shortening was a result of the Final Rule, which changed the filing deadlines and requirements for companies. A company’s 10-K filing can be found in the SEC’s EDGAR database. In addition to the company’s filing on the database, shareholders can request a copy of the 10-K from the company directly and the company must provide a copy by law. Most companies provide the 10-K report on their investors section of their website. The primary purpose of the 10-K report is to provide investors with information about the company to assist in the process of determining whether a stock should be purposed. The 10-K is the foundation for fundamental analysis.

Contents of Form 10-K

The 10-K form contains a wealth of information of a company’s financial picture. The form also includes details of a company’s operations, subsidiaries, organizational structure, and legal proceedings. Many investors make the mistake of going directly to the numbers and not reading the details of a company’s form 10-K. This of course defeats the purpose of providing such level of detail to investors.


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