What is Form 10-Q?
Form 10-Q is a report – required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – that must be filed quarterly by all public companies. The form is similar to Form 10-K; however, it typically contains fewer details and the financial statements included are typically unaudited. Three quarterly Forms 10-Q must be filed each year – a company then includes its final fiscal year reporting on Form 10-K.
Form 10-Q is used to compare a company’s previous financial quarter to its current financial quarter. The SEC designed and required the form – pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 – to help keep investors informed about the financial health and happenings of the companies they invest in or may choose to invest in.
- Form 10-Q is an SEC-required form that provides a comparison of a company’s previous quarterly financial statements to its current financial statements.
- The filing requirements for a company depend on its class; large accelerated filers must submit Form 10-Q within 40 days from the end of their respective fiscal quarter, accelerated and non-accelerated filers are given 45 days.
- The form is important because it provides investors with information about a company’s financial health and progress, which helps them determine if they should invest in the company’s stock or other securities.
Filing Form 10-Q
It is important to learn about the three classes of filers because each class is subject to a different requirement regarding when its Form 10-Q must be filed.
Companies that are known as large accelerated filers – those with a float of $700 million or more – or accelerated filers – those with a $75 million to $699 million float – must file a Form 10-Q within a certain number of days from the end of their fiscal quarter. For large accelerated filers, it’s 40 days; accelerated filers are given an additional five days to file.
The third and final class of filer is the non-accelerated filer. They are companies with a public float that is less than $75 million. Such companies are, like accelerated filers, given 45 days from the end of their fiscal quarter to file their form.
What is Public Float?
While not directly related to Form 10-Q, the term “float” is important in the context of the filing because it determines how companies are classified, which determines when they must file a Form 10-Q.
Public float – otherwise known as free float – is the percentage or number of shares a company has that are held by public investors. It means that the shares aren’t currently being held by officers of the company, investors with a controlling interest in the company (which is often the same as company officers), governments, or promoters. Essentially, the float is comprised of all of a company’s freely traded common stock shares.
What’s in Form 10-Q and Why It’s Important
Form 10-Q includes financial information about a company and compares the last quarter’s financial numbers to the company’s current financial numbers.
In addition, the form 10-Q documents company management’s dissection and analysis of the company’s financial statements, as well as their notes about any abnormalities or points of interest in regard to the financial statements.
Why is this important? It offers a snapshot of a company’s performance over a three-month period of time. It makes it possible for investors to evaluate a company’s financial progress (or lack thereof), and gauge how strong they are financially. This is vital information for investors because it helps dictate how they invest in a company, or, perhaps even more importantly, whether they should invest in a company at all.
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