Spring real estate season is going to be here in the blink of an eye, and if you haven’t done so yet, you might also kick off residential real estate coverage for 2014 with a personal finance primer about the new Ability to Pay /Qualified Mortgage rules that will affect borrowers and lenders. The new [...]
Investing | Banking
Welcome to one of the most exciting beats in business. Heather Landy, Mary Fricker and Theo Francis tackle some of the big issues.
This week of limbo, as one year flickers out and another is about to dawn, is an annual opportunity to do some long-range planning and thinking about fresh angles for approaching your beat. It’s also a good time to seize ideas for projects or longitudinal stories and set them into motion. Otherwise all too soon, [...]
Retailers like to make headlines in December — but for triumphs like double-digit sales increases, not the security fiasco that discounter Target is red-faced over in the final crucial shopping days before Christmas. News that hackers may have been picking off data from tens of millions of shopper credit cards for weeks on end is [...]
When there’s news at a publicly traded company, there’s probably also an 8-K filing. These are the filings that many investors watch most closely, and among the ones companies file most often. Beat Basics: MORE on 8-K Filings An introduction Kinds of 8-Ks Tips and Tricks Traps and mistakes Resources Video tour: 8-K Glossary of [...]
One often-overlooked feature of the 8-K is the number that designates which 8-K “item” is being reported by a particular filing. These numeric codes appear in the Edgar filing database’s list of results. They also often appear in the alert emails or results lists for third-party filings services, and some such services also let you use the categories to narrow your searches; that lets you you can zero in on, say, director departures and related events. Often even a single development can trigger disclosure under multiple items.
The 8-K’s strong suit for reporters is news. After all, companies use them to disclose (or try to bury) news of their own.
Most 8-K filings are pretty straightforward, but some can still prove confusing. Some companies bury important information, or emphasize the rosy and downplay the gloomy. Further complicating matters: widespread misconceptions about what companies are required to do, and what kinds of developments are significant enough to appear in an 8-K.
The SEC’s Edgar database is free and relatively simple. Start with the company search page to find a particular company’s filings, by name or ticker symbol. Use the full text-search page to search across companies for individual words, or for phrases (use quote marks); see the proxy guide’s Introduction for a screen shot. The advanced version of the full-text search page lets you filter by company name, date, type of form and other details.