Reviewing financial data and other company information is usually an important part of making an investment decision. Most public companies, including all that trade on U.S. exchanges like NASDAQ and the NYSE are required to file reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Some public companies that trade on inter-dealer quotation/trading systems such as the one operated by OTC Markets Group, Inc. do not. Companies quoted and trading over the counter include big international companies that comply fully with reporting regulations in other jurisdictions, but choose not to also comply with SEC requirements.
For SEC reporting companies, financial data can be found in 10-Qs (quarterly), 10-Ks (annual) and prospectuses (when a company is offering securities securities), among other reports. The annual reports and prospectuses, and to a lesser extent quarterly reports, also contain a lot of non-financial information about the company.
Companies and insiders must also file with the SEC such things any proxy statements (required when soliciting shareholder votes), and report to the SEC about insider trading and any material events which are important to shareholders or the SEC. Other reports are also required.
To find reports that are filed with the SEC, you can go directly to the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov/) and search their EDGAR database (http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html).
But many prefer to go to websites such as Google Finance (http://www.google.com/finance) or Yahoo! Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com/). On these sites you can find a company by name or ticker symbol, and be presented with a wealth of information. You’ll find links to the company’s SEC filings (no searching required); links to the company’s home page, press releases and investor relations page; news about the company; current and historical stock information; and much more.
For companies not filing with the SEC and whose stock is traded on one of the OTC Markets Group’s marketplaces (OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink), you can go to the OTC Markets Group website (http://www.otcmarkets.com/) and find financial data (if available) and other information on your company of interest.
Of course you should also go directly to company’s website. Companies usually, but not always, have Investor Relations pages with links to financial data and other information. Reviewing a company’s website is important because you can find information there not available anywhere else – but they don’t always disclose financial reports and other key information. Looking at both company websites and some of the links provided above are your best bet.