The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) requires companies to file earnings reports no later than 45 days after the end of their first three quarters, and their quarterly and annual reports 90 days after their fiscal year end. Companies file quarterly earnings reports on Form 10-Q or 10-QSB and yearly earnings reports on Form 10-K or 10-KSB. A company can file these reports or announce earnings publicly whenever it chooses, provided it follows the 45- and 90-day guidelines set forth by the SEC.

However, in an attempt to make information available to the public in a more timely manner, the SEC adopted rules on August 27, 2002, that saw these 45- and 90-day requirements reduced to 35 and 60 days, respectively. The tightening of filing requirements, however, affects only public companies that have a public float of at least $75 million and have been subject to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for at least 12 months. The change in time periods was phased in over three years, starting November 15, 2002. For the first year, companies were allowed the 45- and 90-day requirements, then 40- and 75-day requirements the second year, and then 35- and 60-day requirements for the years thereafter.

Many websites have the release dates for earnings reports of publicly traded companies.

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