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Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis & Retrieval

What is EDGAR?

EDGAR stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis & Retrieval and is a searchable database of filing documents for U.S. companies.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies to file certain documents by law and EDGAR is the centralized database where they are all stored and accessible by the general public.

Access the EDGAR filings here –> https://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml


EDGAR company filings
Source: sec.gov


What types of documents are filed on EDGAR?

There are various types of SEC-required documents that companies must, by law, file periodically.  The most common examples include:

  • 10-K (annual report)
  • 10-Q (quarterly report)
  • 8-K (current report)
  • SC 13G (statement of acquisition of beneficial ownership by individuals)
  • S-8 (securities to be offered to employees in employee benefit plans)
  • S-1 (initial registration for new securities to be offered, prospectus)


Why do financial analysts use EDGAR?

Financial analysts use the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis & Retrieval system because it’s a centralized place to get all the company documents they require for financial modeling, valuation, and other analyses.

The alternative for an analyst is to visit each company’s individual investor relations website and find the information they need there, but companies typically don’t file nearly as much information on their IR site as they do on the SEC database.

While there are many alternative sources of information, such as Bloomberg or Capital IQ, those types of data providers are considered indirect sources of information.  A financial analyst working in investment banking on a live transaction would have to gather information directly from the source (the SEC) to ensure that there is no risk of errors from third-party sources.


Additional resources

Thank you for reading this CFI guide to EDGAR and the types of information that public companies in the U.S. file on it.  CFI’s mission is to help you become a world-class financial analyst. To achieve that goal, these additional resources will be a big help:

  • Public company filings
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Financial modeling guide
  • How to be a great financial analyst

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Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!