A:

During the course of a fiscal year, a company will report earnings on a total of four separate occasions: three quarterly statements filed as 10-Qs, and one annual report with Quarter 4 data within, filed as a 10-K. The SEC requires companies to file 10-Qs no later than 45 days after the end of a quarter, and 10-Ks must be being submitted no later than 90 days following a company's fiscal year-end. Occasionally, companies will postpone an earnings release for some unforeseen reason. However, most often, the delay will be a result of the company not completing the report on time due to audits taking longer than expected, inexperienced officers completing their first report and the firm losing some or all of its financial data due to a technical error, fire or theft. Although a company may file a report later than expected, this will sometimes have an impact on its stock price.

If a company announces that it is filing later than expected, investors may take this as a sign of a negative earnings surprise, and a sell-off may follow. Price reductions can be further enhanced by noise traders and technical analysts who may follow those who are selling their stock. The smart investor should keep in mind that the best thing for them to do during a time like this is to consider why the company is delaying its release, and/or wait for information to be released concerning whether management's reasons are valid, and see how the new data corresponds to the original investment thesis.

One possible winner in this scenario is the contrarian investor because the contrarian may pick up the now relatively cheaper stock, which will enhance any gains going forward.

To learn more about earnings, read Earnings: Quality Means Everything, or Everything You Need To Know About Earnings.

RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the differences between a 10-K report and a firm's own annual report?

    Understand the key differences between a corporation's own annual report and its 10-K report filed with the SEC and how investors ... Read Answer >>
  2. Why do companies report earnings at different times?

    This is a question that puzzles many people because, unlike individuals, who must file their taxes to the IRS every year ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    SEC Filings: Forms You Need To Know

    The forms companies are required to file provide a clear view of their histories and progress.
  2. Investing

    How To Decode A Company’s Earnings Reports

    Earnings reports tell investors how a publicly-traded company is performing, but aren’t always easy to decipher.
  3. Investing

    How To Efficiently Read An Annual Report

    Learn how to read between the lines and decipher the actual condition of a company.
  4. Investing

    Data Mining For Investors

    Being an informed investor is extremely important, but where and how do you get the data for your research?
  5. Investing

    Using Public SEC Filings To Analyze Companies

    Reports from the Securities and Exchange Commission provide investors with an edge in determining the investment value of companies. Learn what to look for in these financial reports.
  6. Investing

    Speed Read SEC Filings For Hot Stock Picks

    SEC forms can be a real headache. Find out how to make your research more efficient - and more effective.
  7. Investing

    How To Efficiently Read An Annual Report

    Annual reports are clearly prepared without any intent to deceive or mislead investors. Still, investors should read them with a dose of skepticism.
  8. Insights

    What is the Fiscal Year-End?

    It’s an important consideration for determining taxes, expenses and other financial matters.
  9. Taxes

    Top Reasons to File Separately When Married

    Usually couples file their taxes jointly, not separately. Except for these possible exceptions...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A quarter is a three-month period on a company's financial calendar ...
  2. SEC Form 10-KT

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that ...
  3. MJSD

    An acronym that represents the months March, June, September ...
  4. 500 Investor Rule

    A SEC stipulation requiring a company that exceeds 500 individual ...
  5. SEC Form NSAR-BT

    An annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission ...
  6. Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval - EDGAR

    The electronic filing system created by the Securities and Exchange ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. In the context of the NYSE and FINRA, after an ...
  3. Salvage Value

    The estimated value that an asset will realize upon its sale at the end of its useful life. The value is used in accounting ...
  4. Cryptocurrency

    A digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of ...
  5. Promissory Note

    A financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party to pay another party a definite sum of money either on ...
  6. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
Trading Center