DEFINITION of 'SEC Form 10-KT'

SEC Form 10-KT is a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) submitted in lieu of or in addition to a standard 10-K annual report when a company changes the end of its fiscal year. For example, certain mergers or acquisitions can leave the new company with a shorter or elongated reporting period. Here, a new transitional report is required until the new 12-month fiscal year goes into effect. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the company's business activities and financial operations just as an annual 10-K form. Companies return to filing a standard 10-K report once the transition to the new fiscal year is complete.

BREAKING DOWN 'SEC Form 10-KT'

SEC Form 10-KT is required when a company alters its reporting calendar. There are a number of reasons that a company may choose to change the end of its fiscal year, including: to be consistent with the reporting periods of their industry peers, to coincide with the tax year of their investors, and to align its business cycle more closely with its customers.

The requirement for reporting a transitional report is covered by Rules 13a-10 and 15d-10 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and filed on a traditional 10-K form. In the case that the reporting period falls below three months, the company would file the SEC Form 10-QT, an offshoot of the quarterly 10-Q report. For investors, form 10-KT can glean novel insights about company finances but it's on a different timeframe that makes year-over-year comparisons difficult. 

One example of a form 10-KT occurred in 2010 when Burger King approved a change in the end of the fiscal year from June 30 to December 31. The transition period of July 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010, was covered on the form 10-KT.

What to Look for in a Form 10-KT

A transitional report is often difficult to analyze. Usually, they cover a variable amount of time, making the information difficult to compare against  previous reports. Furthermore, companies change their fiscal calendar following a corporate event like a merger or acquisition that drastically change corporate fundamentals. The new financial information may be a better indicator of future performance rather than previous quarters. It can reveal material news about a company's operations or financial activities. That not only includes forward-looking statements about financial growth but any new ventures on the horizon. For instance, Burger King indicated they would focus on improving the customer experience and rolling out renovations across existing franchises during the transition period. 

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