All publicly-traded companies in Canada and the U.S. must file specific corporate financial reports with the appropriate government regulatory body. In turn, these regulatory bodies ensure that these corporate filings are freely available to the general public and potential investors in order to make informed investment decisions.
In Canada, publicly traded companies are required to file their public securities documents with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) which is a body of thirteen provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities. The CSA ensures that each company’s securities filings and relevant information is filed in their SEDAR electronic filing system.
SEDAR provides free open access to their database of filings for those public companies trading on Canadian stock exchanges. SEDAR is an acronym for the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval.
In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offers the public free open access to their database of corporate filings which is called EDGAR. EDGAR is an acronym for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval.
SEDAR and EDGAR may contain a company’s annual reports, interim financial statements, press releases, and other public documents. Keep in mind that the majority of public companies will also provide links to their SEDAR or EDGAR filings somewhere on their corporate website (usually on their Investor or Investor Relations pages).
SEDAR – Canadian Securities Administrators
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is a body of thirteen provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities. Since 1997, the electronic securities filings of Canadian publicly-traded companies are posted on CSA’s SEDAR filing system.
You can search for profiles of private and public companies, investment funds, investment fund groups, and other parties filing in SEDAR+. Access SEDAR+ here.
The example below shows a search for Canadian Tire. You are able to use the drop-down to specify the profile type you want or you can leave it blank to see all profiles available.
It is important to note that the default for SEDAR company documents is limited to a six-month range.
As such, students may want to choose at least one year or more as some company reports are only published annually.
EDGAR – U.S. Securities Exchange Commission
All U.S. publicly-traded companies are required to file their annual documents (10-K) and quarterly documents (10-Q) plus a variety of additional forms (e.g., 14-A proxy statement, fund prospectus, 8-K and S-8) into the SEC’s EDGAR database.
The SEC’s EDGAR database system processes approx. 3,000 filings per day and contains millions of company filings for the last 10 years. Access to EDGAR through the SEC website is free to the general public, however, you may prefer the search functionality of another database to access SEC filings.
Using the SEC site, you can search by company name or use a ticker symbol. Choose your company from the results list and filter your search by selecting the appropriate filing type (e.g., 10-K, DEF 14-A).
What is a 10-K?
Investopedia defines a 10-K as a document filed annually by public companies with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which provides an overview of the company’s performance and audited financials. A company’s 10-K is distinct from its Annual Report to Shareholders which discloses corporate information to shareholders.
SEC filings are included in a few library-subscribed databases (e.g., Mergent Online). To learn more about EDGAR and SEC filings, click the image below:
TIPS FOR SEARCHING EDGAR:
- When viewing multiple pages of a 10-K or other SEC filing, try using the “Edit-Find on Page” feature (or CTRL F) which should allow you to move through the document.
- The SEC also publishes a helpful “Using EDGAR to Research Investments” to learn how to use the EDGAR system including to find a company’s Form 10-K.
- Additional explanatory notes can be found on EDGAR’s “Fast Answers” page.
SEC filings via EDGAR are available for free. SEC filings are also accessible when using Mergent Online
HINT: Select the Filings tab that’s visible within the company screen in Mergent Online to view SEC/SEDAR Filings.
NOTE: There are a variety of websites which offer the ability to search SEC filings but may charge for access.
Additional Open Access Resources
Several open-access resources also offer good starting points if you are attempting to search for Canadian company financials on the free internet. A few suggestions are:
Offers stock quotes, up-to-date news, company profiles, portfolio management resources, international market data, message boards, and mortgage rates.
Displays company profiles, stock and financial information. It also includes the latest financial news.
Search for stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies. Includes stock screener, interactive charting tools, news and discussion groups.