This article is from the How to Start an Investment Program tutorial, author unknown.
Companies that sell stock to the public are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to file financial reports yearly and quarterly. The 10-K Report is submitted annually while the 10-Q is due on a quarterly basis. Both documents, which are public information and more detailed than the Annual Report, offer valuable insights into the current condition of the company.
In addition to the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement found in the Annual Report, the 10-K will tell you the names of the company directors and the management team, some biographical information about these people (their age, curriculum vitae, and work history), and how many shares of stock they own in the company.
You'll also find out how much they are being paid (or overpaid as the case may be). The 10-K will also tell you if there are any legal proceedings against the company, and discuss matters that are to be voted on by the stockholders.
In the 10-Q, you will find the most current operating results (sales, income, earnings per share, etc.) on he company along with a discussion and analysis by management of conditions affecting the business. This is probably the most overlooked document available to investors because so much can happen in a year to affect the price of the company stock. If you really want to stay abreast of what is going on, this document should be requested from the company or located and viewed online at the SEC (http://www.sec.gov/) website.