One of the most important tools in the arsenal of the fundamental investor is the corporate earnings report. The 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 the 10-Q and 10-K reports.
Current and potential shareholders can track coming earnings releases through online resources such as the Nasdaq online earnings calendar. Released earnings reports can be found through SEC.gov and other publications, such as the earnings calendar provided by Yahoo Finance and Morningstar.
How to Track Earnings Reports Through Nasdaq
The Nasdaq earnings calendar presents a collection of coming earnings reports. You can search companies based on a specific release date or by ticker symbol, and the website will give a brief overview of key information.
For example, you can see reports released on the current day, complete with fundamental data such as market capitalization, consensus earnings per share (EPS) forecasts and last year's EPS.
How to Track Earnings Reports Using EDGAR
The most authoritative and complete resource for all earnings reports is on SEC.gov using their EDGAR system, where 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 because they are both based on quarterly data. However, the 10-Q is a much longer document, filled with black-and-white financial information. While this can make it tedious to read, investors can avoid the fluff of the official earnings report. The 10-K and annual earnings reports have a similar relationship.
Listening to Earnings Conference Calls
Earnings calls are generally available to the entire public. They can be accessed online and are often found in the investor relations section of the company's website, or can be listened to using the telephone. These can provide an even better insight than quarterly earnings reports.
Many companies provide access to the earnings call on their corporate websites for a period of time after the actual call, making it possible for investors who could not listen in live a way to access this valuable corporate information for investors to analyze.