I'm new to analyzing company financial statements (specifically, Income Statements). I noticed that some companies do not have Research and Development costs reported on their Income Statements, and I'm a little puzzled by this. So my question is: Why do some SEC-provided company Income Statements show R&D and others do not?

For example, Amazon.com and NVIDIA both reported their Research and Development costs on their Income Statements, but companies like Chipotle, FORD Motor Company, and Proctor & Gamble do not show research costs. Surely, FORD and Proctor & Gamble do have R&D costs of some kind, would they not?

Here's a visual of Amazon and Proctor and Gamble from MSN.com just so you can see what I mean:



Why wouldn't a company's R&D costs get reported in their SEC Income Statement? Does the SEC require reporting if the expenses are over $1 million?

Thank you in advance for your help!

1 Answer 1


The links you are providing are not SEC-provided financial statements, but extracts from a portal. If you are learning to read and interpret financial statements it would be best to go through the original documents, read the numbers in detail and read the footnotes that accompany the financial statements... they offer insight and explanations that you can't see from the statements, let alone a brief summary of those in websites like msn, yahoo finance, etc. Those sites are useful for finding quickly specific things, screening, etc. but not to understand the company (if you really analyzing a company). That's just my 2 cents since you are starting out on that journey.

On the question at hand, it could be that they have the expense in a line item not named R&D. For example, Ford has the R&D expenses in Cost of Sales. See the extract from their 2019 annual report.

"Engineering, research, and development expenses are reported in Cost of sales and primarily consist of salaries, materials, and associated costs. Engineering, research, and development costs are expensed as incurred when performed internally or when performed by a supplier if we guarantee reimbursement."

R&D is always either expensed or capitalized. The exact treatment differs across different accounting standards (US GAAP, IFRS, etc.).

Hope this helps. If it answers your question, please mark it appropriately.

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