An annual report can be read.

An annual report is a document that summarizes a company's performance.These reports are read by shareholders and investors, but they are also of interest to future lenders, people considering future employment with a company, and business students.An annual report provides an overview of the company, as well as a primer on company leadership and financial information. Step 1: Determine what kind of annual report you want. The 10-K required by the Securities and Exchange Commission can be used as the basis for the annual report.Annual reports usually contain the same basic components, including information about management and directors, financial data, projections on future growth, and market analysis. Step 2: The company has an annual report. The annual report should be mailed to you if you own stock in a publicly traded company.The company's annual report can be found on its website.If you want to read the annual report of a private company, you need to get permission from the company in order to do so.Private company annual reports are not usually held to the same standards as public companies. Step 3: You have to get a 10-K. Every public company has to file a 10-K every year.You can search for and download a public company's annual report from the SEC website.The annual report of the company you want to read can be found at Step 4: You can read the letter from the chairperson. The opening section of an annual report is the letter from the chairperson of the Board of Directors.A broad overview of the company's fortunes over the past year is what it typically gives.Problems and issues that arose may be addressed by the chairperson, as well as what has been or will be done to solve them.Future goals should also be discussed in the letter.Look for clear plans for the future of the company.There is an analysis of the company's gains and losses over the previous year. Step 5: The business description should be read. If you want to learn more about the company and what it does, read the business description.The company's offerings and industry will be described.Brief descriptions of their business sectors, including main products and services, sources of materials, and the status of new products will be included.If you're not familiar with the company, this should be your starting point.Industry trends may be included in this section. Step 6: The directors and officers of the company are listed. Short biographies of the individuals sitting on the board and company officers could be given in this section.The section is intended to celebrate the hard work of the company's personnel, as well as inspire confidence in investors and shareholders.Take the current year's list of directors and officers into account.It could be an indication of continuing company problems if the list changes a lot. Step 7: Take a look at the ten-year summary. The ten-year summary compares where the company is financially compared to where it was a decade ago.This section will give you a good idea of what the long-term growth trends have been, as well as where the company might be headed in the future.The report might include a section on long-term growth if the company hasn't been around for a decade. Step 8: Take a look at the risk factors. One of the differences between the regular shareholder's report and the official government annual report is that the latter requires a risk assessment.The factors addressed in the risk assessment give information about how financial projections might differ from actual results if certain conditions are not met.Standard risks include an inability to maintain brand value and the threat of legal proceedings.The risks are specific to the company.Changing technology, levels of oil and gas reserves, and corporate assumptions about energy consumption are some of the risk factors listed by an Oil and Gas company.Risk factors show how companies arrive at their financial projections.Risk factors are designed to protect the company in the event they occur.You have to determine the likelihood of a negative event happening and its impact on the company. Step 9: The management discussion can be read. The management discussion and analysis section in an annual report gives the management team an opportunity to voice their views on the company's financial trends.They will talk about how the company performed over the past year and where they see it going in the future.In addition to financial indicators like income and sales trends, management discussion will usually address the company's debt and equity structure.Don't take the management discussion at face value.The opinions presented in the management discussion portion may not be accurate if the company does not have competent management.Independent CPAs don't check the management statements. Step 10: Look at the sales and marketing section. The company provides products and services.You will be able to understand what products and services the company is handling well after reading this part of the report.Information about company slogans and why they work to promote the brand can be found in this section.Key concepts associated with the product or service should be explained in the sales and marketing section.The main themes of a car maker's marketing campaign might be youth, speed, and adventure. Step 11: The company has holdings. Where the company has offices or plants will be listed here.The section will show you more about the various locations where the company does business and what its holdings look like.This is where the specific products a company produces or develops will be described.The company's major divisions and holdings will be reviewed.For instance, a company like Disney might talk about the sales and performance of its brands such as Disney, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, all of which are under its corporate umbrella. Step 12: You can read the opinion of a certified public accountant. An independent CPA analyzes the company's financial status in the CPA opinion portion of the document.The annual report is less reliable without a CPA opinion.The CPA's opinion is based on a review of tangible assets and documents like purchase orders and contracts.The company dealt with banks, customers, and suppliers that the person collected information from.Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (US GAAP) is a set of accounting practices that all public companies in the United States must adhere to. Step 13: Look at the financial statements. The most important part of the document is the financial statement.The company's financial performance statistics, balance sheet, income statements, and cash flow statement are included.To get a full picture, you need to look at each company.The income statement shows how much money the company made.Expenses will be incurred to reduce the revenues within the same period, as well as investment income and income from sales of products and services.The cash flow statement will show the company's starting cash balances, sources and uses of cash during the period, and the ending cash balance.It could show that the company is investing in new plants, raw materials, property, or personnel.The owner's equity is the difference between assets and liabilities on a specific date on the balance sheet.The footnotes in the financial statement portion of the report can provide additional information about the company's operations and properties. Step 14: The stock price history should be reviewed. The stock price history shows how the company's stock value has changed over time.It will be presented as a graph and an analysis of the stock's trends.The company's stock symbol and stock exchange listing are also listed.The company's stock price is compared with others in its industry.There are similarities and differences between the companies.The variation in the stock price of the company may be a result of mismanagement. Step 15: Companies that change their messages should be looked out for. If a company is devoted to creating healthy customers one year and selling soda and candy the next, something may be wrong with its management and leadership.You can get a good idea of the company's values and vision by reading the opening statement closely.Companies that move too far from their successful market niche might be in trouble.A company that seems to be overextending itself should be avoided.A company that says it wants to make the best computers in a year is probably not. Step 16: Changing accounting practices can be dangerous. If a company suddenly takes a large impairment charge, you should be concerned about why the company's goodwill has diminished.A decline in inventory could be a sign that the company is overpaying for materials or personnel. Step 17: The proxy statement should be read. An attachment to the official 10-K form shows how much the company's executives are being paid.The information given is relevant to the company's owners who are about to vote. Step 18: Don't look for adjusted earnings. There were extraordinary misfortunes, special events, or extraordinary circumstances that did not occur that caused adjusted earnings to be lower than expected.Review previous reports to confirm that the event was extraordinary and check what the company actually earned.The company has run aground if there is a large gap between the adjusted and actual earnings.Check the company's expectations against reality.If a company's annual report states an expectation to grow by 10% in the next year but instead loses 5% of its value over the course of the year, finding an answer for discrepancies as they can be caused by a variety of events, including stock fraud.

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