How to Get a Company’s Earnings Report
If you’re researching a company and deciding whether to invest in it or not, one of the first things you’ll probably want to do is look at their recent financial reports. Here are three different ways you can get access to a company’s financials:
Using a Financial Website Like Yahoo Finance or Morningstar
The advantage of using financial websites is that it’s easy to cycle through companies quickly. Simply enter the ticker into the search and you can pull up their recent results. The downside, however, is that often times the line items get consolidated and it may not look exactly as how the company released them, and so you lose information in the process.
Getting notes to the financials is also not normally possible because those would be even more difficult to try and standardize on websites that aim for a consistent format.
The Internal Relations Section of a Company’s Website
Every company will have an investors section that users can access and that will normally include press releases as well as financials. The problem here is that it’s up to every company website to determine which information is included, and how. There’s no consistency unfortunately and you could be left hunting for the information you’re after. Below is what the Facebook’s internal relations page looks like:
It’s a rather well organized one that can help you get the information you need easily. Clicking on the Finacials section you’ll see the recent quarterly reports:
Facebook offers not only the financials but also slides from their presentations all in one place. It’s a convenient location for everything. But don’t expect the same process if we look at another company. Walt Disney, for instance, shows its quarterly reports in a series of PDF files:
For the most part, getting the information you’re after shouldn’t be too difficult, but the disadvantage here is if you won’t have consistency and there will be the odd company that might not make it easy and will frustrate you.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (for U.S. Companies)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is where all the quarterly reports are filed for U.S. comapnies and it’s a good option if you want to find the same sort of setup and don’t want to spend a time digging on a company’s website, especially if they haven’t made it easy on you. This is normally a last resort for me but the website’s interface makes it easy to go from one area to the next, and it also includes notes to the financials. The disadvantage is if you’re looking for a company you’ll have to select the correct name as there might be other similar spellings. The process can be a little confusing so I’ll run through the steps.
How to get earnings reports from the SEC’s website:
- Go to https://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html
- Enter in the company name and click on search
3. If there are no similar names to choose from, it’ll take you straight to the results. Here, you can filter the results. I’d suggest filtering by type and entering the number 10 and then clicking search. This will ensure you only see 10-K (annual) and 10-Q (quarterly) results.
4. If ‘Interactive Data’ is available you can click on that and it’ll make it easy to move from the different financial statements and see comparative periods as well. Near the top you’ll notice the opportunity to view the file in Excel. This will download all the financial statements (even the notes!).
If the interactive section is not available, you can click on the Documents button. From there, you’ll see a series of different files:
In this example, we would select the first file, which will either say 10-K or 10-Q.
Pulling Canadian Company Earnings Reports from SEDAR
If you need to pull a Canadian company’s financials, the SEDAR website makes it pretty easy. Simply follow the steps below:
- Go to Google and type in the ticker of the company you want to pull financials for and SEDAR after it. It’ll normally be the first result:
2. Click on View This Company’s Documents
3. You’ll see a list of documents and you want to look for anything that says annual financial statements or interim financial statements
Alternatively, you could go to this link and you can filter the document type for Financial Statements and enter the company name and other criteria.
The result is you’ll get a much shorter list to sift through:
Where to Find Fourth-Quarter Results?
When it comes to Q4, companies just release an annual report and may or may not list the quarterly results separately. Here’s what you can do if you can’t find a company’s fourth-quarter results in their year-end financials:
- Look in the Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A). Often times, they’ll have quarterly results broken out. However, this depends on the company and so it’s by no means a guarantee, but odds are you should be able to find something in here.
- The alternative is you can pull the annual results along with the Q3 results. From the Q3 report, get the year-to-date totals and subtract them from the annual results. It’s not the nicest way to do it, but it’s a last resort if you can’t find Q4 data anywhere else.