Earlier this month, the SEC issued a press release announcing that it was soliciting comments on earnings releases and quarterly reports. Specifically, the SEC is seeking comments on how the existing periodic reporting system, alone or in combination with other factors, may foster an overly short-term focus by managers and other market participants.
The request for comments addresses the following:
- The nature and timing of disclosures that reporting companies must provide in their quarterly Form 10-Q reports, including when the Form 10-Q disclosure requirements overlap with the disclosures companies voluntarily provide to the public in earnings releases furnished on Form 8-K.
- How the SEC can promote efficiency in periodic reporting by reducing unnecessary duplication in the information that reporting companies disclose and how any such changes could affect capital formation, while enhancing, or at a minimum maintaining, appropriate investor protection.
- Whether SEC rules should allow reporting companies, or certain classes of reporting companies, flexibility as to the frequency of their periodic reporting.
- How the existing periodic reporting system, earnings releases, and earnings guidance (either standing alone or in combination with other factors) may affect corporate decision making and strategic thinking, including whether these factors foster an inefficient outlook among reporting companies and market participants by focusing on short-term results.
The SEC will accept comments through March 21, 2019.
The SEC Press Release can be found at, https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-287, and the version of the request published in the Federal Register can be found at, https://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2018/33-10588.pdf.