Thursday, July 21, 2005

Know Your Industry Using SEC Filings

In this age of rising costs for proprietary information, the Research Network librarians have to be creative in their research strategies. One of the ways we track down industry trends is to look at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Maybe your client sells a product in a retail establishment. Check out the manufacturer's filing for a discussion of the industry as well as competitors. Form 10-K is a good place to start. The 10-K is the annual report to the SEC, however, it's generally different from the Annual Report to Stockholders. The 10-K follows a standard format as mandated by the SEC and doesn't contain the colorful charts and graphs found in the glossy Annual Report to Stockholders. The 10-K describes how the firm does business, lists ownership and management, may provide estimates of market share and competition, discusses research and development activities, lists subsidiaries, and reveals legal proceedings and other matters that affect the company's operations. At the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's official site,, you can search for company filings, however, printing from this site is difficult. The printed area falls outside the margins of a typical 8.5"x11" page. Try one of the other sites below for easier printing:

1 comment:

jaspreet singh said...

Newbies will really love the information provided. For people like me who use SEC filings regularly it is useful too.

SEC Ownership Filings