A company's earnings report is a public display of profitability, financial standing, and the official word on recent overall business performance. All publicly-traded companies in the U.S. are legally required to file quarterly reports, annual reports, and 10-Q and 10-K reports.

Key Takeaways

  • A company's earnings report is a public display of profitability, financial standing, and the official word on recent overall business performance.
  • All publicly-traded companies in the U.S. are legally required to file quarterly reports, annual reports, and 10-Q and 10-K reports.
  • The most authoritative and complete resource for all earnings reports is the SEC's EDGAR system.

Current and potential shareholders can track upcoming earnings releases through online resources such as the Nasdaq online earnings calendar. Earnings reports that have already been released can be found through the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) website—SEC.gov—and other publications, such as Morningstar (as well as on a company's website).

These earnings reports, which all come out at around the same time, serve as public balance sheets. As a result, during this time period stocks may go up and down with each new announcement. However, an earnings report doesn't necessarily disclose anything about a stock's long-term viability. It's important to be prudent with the information that is made available in an earnings release.

How to Track Earnings Reports Through Nasdaq

The Nasdaq online earnings calendar presents a collection of coming earnings reports. You can search for a company based on a specific release date or by ticker symbol to receive a brief overview of key information.

For example, you can see reports released on the current day, and these reports include fundamental data points, such as market capitalization, consensus earnings per share (EPS) forecasts as well as last year's EPS.

How to Track Earnings Reports Using the SEC's EDGAR

The most authoritative and complete resource for all earnings reports is located on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) website (SEC.gov). Using their EDGAR system, you can search for any publicly-traded company and read quarterly, annual, and 10-Q and 10-K reports.

Many people confuse the quarterly earnings report with the 10-Q form. This is understandable because they are both based on quarterly data. However, the 10-Q is a much longer document that is filled with black-and-white financial information. While this can make it tedious to read, it allows investors to avoid some of the extraneous information that is often found in the official earnings report.

Listen to Earnings Conference Calls

Earnings calls are generally available to the entire public to listen to. If you keep track of when earnings calls are scheduled to take place, you can often listen to the call live via a telephone or cellular device. These earnings calls can provide an even better insight into the financial health of a company than quarterly earnings reports.

Earnings conference calls can also be accessed online; they are often found in the investor relations section of a company's website. Many companies provide access to the earnings calls on their corporate websites for some time after the actual call, making it possible for investors to access and analyze valuable information.