Quarterly Report

Updated on March 26, 2024
Article byRishab Nigam
Edited byRishab Nigam
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What is a Quarterly Report?

Quarterly reports are unaudited financial reports that are summarized versions of financial statements released by public companies every three months (quarter) to adhere to compliance requirements. These reports help in the reduction of information asymmetry and the reduction of the probability of any potential window dressing. Publicly listed companies are directed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to fill out the quarterly report form 10Q.

Quarterly-Report

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In this report, information pertaining to the highlights of the three months of business, executive summary, future plans, and objectives are made available to the shareholders and regulatory authorities for assessment of performance in comparison to previous quarters. Moreover, companies can also disclose the challenges they are facing and the strategies applied to tackle them.

Key Takeaways

  • . Quarterly reports are unaudited financial summaries of financial statements issued by public businesses every three months (quarter) to fulfill compliance requirements. These reports help to eliminate information asymmetry and the risk of window dressing.
  • Anyone interested in these reports can obtain them from the SEC, as the quarterly reports can be found as 10Q via the SEC’s EDGAR section.
  • The quarterly reports are submitted per Article 41 of the listing agreement within 45 days after the quarter’s conclusion. It should include the current Quarter, comparable Quarter, and year-to-date numbers. In addition, it should show total gross revenue, operating expenditures, cash flow, and net profits.

How Does Quarterly Report Work?

Quarterly reports are the financial and overall performance report of a company published every three months as directed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports include executive summary, performance, report, future plans, and strategies. Publicly listed companies are directed to fill a 10-Q form to declare this report on or before the quarterly report date. Let us understand how it works through the pointers below.

  • These reports are filed with the Securities and exchange commission.
  • These usually are unaudited reports.
  • Such figures may be utilized for comparative analysis.
  • It can be utilized to assess the year-to-date performance of the company.
  • All publicly listed companies have to file quarterly reports with the Securities and exchange commission as a compliance requirement.
  • For non-listed companies, the key stakeholders can request the release of such reports from the investor relations committee. Typically, the profit and loss statementsProfit And Loss StatementsThe profit and loss statement is a financial report that summarizes the company's revenues and expenses over a period of time to determine profit or loss for that period.read more are not readily available for public viewing.
  • Usually, a stakeholder or an investor can access these reports from the securities and exchange commission.
  • They are available as Form 10Q under the Securities and exchange commission.
  • Similarly, the annual reports are available as 10K reports.
  • Therefore, the investor or an analyst can visit the electronic data gathering, analysis, and retrieval systems or the EDGAR of the SEC to access the 10Q.
  • They have to pass the company’s name in the search box of EDGAR.

The quarterly reports are unaudited financial statements released at every quarter-end. These reports are fairly different from annual reports. Such reports help in releasing information that helps promote investor confidence in the business. Any stakeholder keen to access these reports can download the reports from the SEC as the quarterly reports are available as 10Q under the EDGAR section of the SEC.

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Requirements

Let understand the requirements for a publicly listed company while filling out the quarterly report form. While the information in the declaration varies from company to company. However, there are a certain set of requirements published by the SEC that all companies must comply with. Let us understand them through the explanation below.

Format

Before the quarterly report date, a company must ensure all the required data is gathered and compiled in the format required by the SEC. This task is often delegated to one of the executives in coordination with a company secretary and the auditor to ensure an error-free report.

  1. It should cover a brief message from the board of directors Of DirectorsBoard of Directors (BOD) refers to a corporate body comprising a group of elected people who represent the interest of a company’s stockholders. The board forms the top layer of the hierarchy and focuses on ensuring that the company efficiently achieves its goals. read more to be shared with the stakeholders.
  2. They should highlight the performance of the Quarter ending financials.
  3. It should provide a balance sheetBalance SheetA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders' equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner's capital equals the total assets of the company.read more.
  4. It should provide an income statementIncome StatementThe income statement is one of the company's financial reports that summarizes all of the company's revenues and expenses over time in order to determine the company's profit or loss and measure its business activity over time based on user requirements.read more and statement of cash flowsStatement Of Cash FlowsA Statement of Cash Flow is an accounting document that tracks the incoming and outgoing cash and cash equivalents from a business.read more.

Examples

Let us understand the concept of quarterly report form and other related details with the help of a couple of examples. These examples will help us understand the intricacies of the concept.

Example #1

XYZ credit agency is planning to release its quarterly report for the First Quarter. It has asked its company secretary to prepare a draft of this report. All the financial details have been shared with the XYZ credit agency. Help the company secretary to prepare this report.

Message from the board,

The board of directors has approved the release of unaudited financial statementsFinancial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels.read more for the Quarter ending 31/03/2019. The board feels happy to share financials with positive numbers with the stakeholders. They have taken up additional strategic initiatives that would further help improve the business’s financial conditions.

For Quarter ending 1, the balance sheet is as follows: –

Particulars31/03/201931/03/2018
Cash$2,000$1,500
Marketable Securities$4,000$5,000
Inventories$2,200$2,000
Total Current Assets$8,200$8,500
Net PPE$4,500$6,000
Total Assets$12,700$14,500
Accounts Payable$3,000$2,000
Accruals$1,700$1,800
Current Portion of Debt$2,000$2,400
Total Current Liabilities$6,700$6,200
Long Term Debt$2,000$4,300
Total Equity$4,000$4,000
Total Liabilities$12,700$14,500
Particulars31/03/201931/03/2018
Sales$2,000$1,500
Cost of Sales$800$950
Gross Profit$1,200$550
Operating Expense$700$200
Net Income$500$330

Example #2

In May 2023, the entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. declared their quarterly results and decided to declare their performance across different revenue streams. For instance, their losses in the streaming sector, Disney + were reduced by 26% percent by approximately $200 million.

Parallelly, their streaming platform’s subscribers shrunk by 8%. As on April 1, 2023, their global subscribers were at 157.8 million, which is reduced by 4 million in comparison to the previous quarter.

However, their overall revenue increased by 13% to $21.8 billion.

Impact

Let us understand the impact of a quarterly report date on the share price and the morale of shareholders and employees of the company through the points below.

Advantages

Let us understand the advantages of filling out the quarterly report form on time and declaring results for a publicly listed company.

Disadvantages

Despite the advantages mentioned above, quarterly report dates can be a hassle or hurdle for both companies and shareholders. Let us understand the disadvantages of the report through the discussion below.

  • Any activity mentioned in the quarterly reports but absent in the annual reports can impact the business’s growth prospects.
  • Since these statements are not audited, they may not be easily understood by the layman.
  • It isn’t easy to prepare these reports that are in line with the company’s performance objectives consistently.
  • These reports are generally not standardized as compared with the annual reports.

Difference Between Quarterly Report and Annual Report

Despite the fact that both these reports declare the performance, challenges, and executive summaries of the company, there are differences fundamentally with regard to an annual report and filling out a quarterly report form. Let us understand the differences through the comparison below.

  1. The annual reports are reports that the business has to release to its shareholders annually.
  2. The quarterly reports are released quarterly.
  3. The annual reports would consist of auditor opinion, management discussion analysisManagement Discussion AnalysisMD&A or management discussion and analysis is the part of financial statements where the company’s management discusses the company’s current performance using qualitative and quantitative measures to realize the details that otherwise would not have been available for analysis.read more, and the financial statements for the current financial year.
  4. The quarterly reports may be composed of the only year’s financial statements and quarter financials, generally unaudited. They do not have any auditor opinion or management discussion analysis.
  5. The annual reports are normally filed as 10K in the SEC, whereas quarterly reports are available as 10Q.
  6. The deadline to file annual reportsAnnual ReportsAn annual report is a document that a corporation publishes for its internal and external stakeholders to describe the company's performance, financial information, and disclosures related to its operations. Over time, these reports have become legal and regulatory requirements.read more is within 60 days, whereas, for interim financials, the deadline is slated as 45 days for submission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When do quarterly reports come out?

Earnings season often begins one or two weeks after the last month of each quarter (December, March, June, and September). As a result, most public corporations will report profits in early to mid-January, April, July, and October

What quarterly reports are due?

Most businesses have a fiscal year that finishes on December 31, and quarters expire on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. Therefore, quarterly reports are generally filed within a few weeks following the conclusion of the fiscal quarter.

Why are quarterly reports important?

SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) requires every listed company to file quarterly reports to protect investors’ interests. As a result, quarterly reports permit investors to evaluate an organization’s success. It also supports making sensible decisions regarding investments.

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