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I am assuming that Form 10-Q stands for quarterly, though I can't derive a good reason for the 10.

Wikipedia:

The name of the Form 10-K comes from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) designation of the form pursuant to sections 13 and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended.

But I couldn't find it on this law site. And I am not well-informed about the structuring of laws and have no idea if these numbers are even representing "sections".

So does anyone have an idea where the terms come from?

Sidenote (unrelated): Probably I could ask this in the English SE as well, but I'll leave it here for now.

  • I doubt English.SE would allow this question. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Apr 8 at 14:39
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    I asked a friend who is a corporate securities lawyer and has been practicing for more than 25 years, and even she doesn't know! – gaefan Apr 9 at 17:39
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The Wikipedia sentence is a little bit ambiguous, and a little bit wrong. In particular, I can't find a section 15(d) in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. (Perhaps a later amendment changed the numbering, such that there is now a section 15(d).) But section 13(a)(2) does indeed indicate that the "Commission" has the authority to require annual and quarterly reports. (This is presumably the Securities and Exchange Commission, but I can't find the term "Commission" defined in the 1934 Act anywhere. Interestingly, "Commission" explicitly refers to the Federal Trade Commission in the Securities Act of 1933.)

The 1934 Act didn't specify the name of the form -- only that the Commission may prescribe such forms.

The way the Commission then prescribes such reports is via the Code of Federal Regulations. In this case, it is in Section 249.310 of Title 17, typically referred to as 17 CFR § 249.310 . That is where the name of the form is given -- "Form 10-K, for annual and transition reports ..."

I can't find any information as to why they chose "K" instead of some other letter.

  • I think this is the original. There's only one K) in the whole thing and it isn't about the periodic filings in Section 13. – user1717828 Nov 18 at 2:27

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