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Business Research: Public Companies

Annual Reports

What is a Public Company?

Public companies are owned by shareholders. The shares for these corporations are sold and traded on various stock exchanges.

Information about a public company may be obtained through financial reports, proxy statements to shareholders, company websites, local chamber of commerce, Better Business Bureau and news outlets.

All public companies are required to file quarterly and annual financial reports with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).  Annual reports may also be obtained through various print and internet sources. 

Plunkett Research Online

SEC Filings

Public companies are required to file the following forms with the SEC:

  • 10-K (annual report of a U.S. corporation)
  • 10-Q (quarterly report of a U.S. corporation)
  • 20-F (annual report of a foreign firm)

You can search information collected by the SEC several ways: