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Business Research

A guide to business research at Cañada College Library

The 10-K Report

A public company's 10-K (or 20-F for foreign companies) is an excellent source of information on its business, strategies, risks, financials, and more. It presents the company's point of view on its current condition and future direction. 

SEC Filings

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations require companies that sell stock (public companies) file a number of financial reports with the Commission. These reports are made publicly available and provide a wealth of information. 

Key Reports used in Company Research:

  • 10-K: An SEC filing containing more detailed financial information than annual reports; submitted to the SEC for a US publicly traded company. Available in EDGAR.
  • 10-Q: Quarterly financial reports. Available in EDGAR.
  • Proxy Statements: A report to stock holders issued prior to the annual meeting or a vote on significant changes to provide security holders the information needed to vote informed. You often find ownership information and salaries of company executives in these documents. Available in EDGAR (labeled as DEF 14A), and on some company websites.

Annual Reports

The Annual Report to Shareholders is the main document public companies use to disclose corporate information to shareholders. It is normally a polished report including an opening letter from the CEO, financial data, results of continuing operations, market segment information, new product plans, subsidiary activities, and R&D activities.

A Company's Website

You can also find recent annual reports listed under the About Us or Investor Relations sections of company websites.