I want to find the most important sec filings in history, when I searched the edgar database, I find several confusions. When I search apple's filings, 10-Q report usually comes one day after the 8-k. But the company sometimes report 8-k separately, I find that items 2.02 is very important and often comes with 9.01 which is financial exhibits. Does that mean that 8-k is the most important and earliest filing? I remember Netflix shares soared after reports of 8-k. And 10-q comes several days after 8-k, maybe 3 or 5 but not fixed. So, if I want to know how this stock reacted to the financials historically, and I need to know the dates the company filed these reports, does that mean the dates a particular company file its item 2.02 in 8-k are what I am looking for.

So, I want to know which filing is more important and earlier so that 
I can find the dates the company filed these filings 
and I can search for the stock market reaction on those days.

PS: I am only important in release or amends of earnings or other important figures in financial statements. Not things like the CEO resigns or merger.

1 Answer 1


10-Q is the quarterly report, and accordingly is filed quarterly. Similarly, 10-K is the annual report.

8-K is a general form for notification of material events. It is filed every time a material event is required to be reported to the shareholders. It may accompany the periodical reports, but doesn't have to. It can be filed on its own.

If you're only interested in the financial statements, then you should be looking for the 10K/10Q forms.

SEC will tell you when the forms were filed (dates), but it won't tell you what's more material and what's less. So you can plot a stock price graph on these dates, and see what was deemed more material by the investors based on the price fluctuations, but be prepared to find fluctuations that have no correlation to filings - because the market as a whole can drag the stock up or down.

Also, some events may not be required to be reported to SEC, but may be deemed material by the investors. For example, a Cupertino town hall meeting discussing the zoning for the new AAPL HQ building may be deemed material by the investors, based on the sentiments, even if no decision was made to be reported to SEC.

  • 1
    A lot of times, before 10-Q filing, there is an 8-K filing which already reports the financial statements. For example, Netflix filed its 8-k items 2.02 on January 23rd and the stock soared. It filed its 10-Q two days later. The financials included in the 8-k. So, the filing of 8-k is more important, I wonder if a company has to file 8-k ahead of 10-Q. Especially the 8-K item 2.02, how is it related to 10-Q
    – Fang Li
    Oct 13, 2013 at 20:51
  • 1
    @FangLi this is a particular case of using 8K, where the company announces its earnings conference and results. However, as you can see from this FAQ, filing 8K may not always be required in this situation: sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/8-kinterp.htm#106.04
    – littleadv
    Oct 13, 2013 at 20:59

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