I was reading the annual report for Adobe Systems and there appeared to be no breakdown showing how much revenue was attributable to each of their "products". They just give one big figure of $3 billion for "product revenue".

That seems kind of vague to me. Don't they have an obligation to shareholders to tell them how much revenue is being made by each product line?

2 Answers 2


First, revenues are shown on PnL, not balance sheet. Second, IFRS has disclosure requirements on sectorial breakdown but not product lines. So this would be a no on your question on a companys obligation to disclose revenue by products.


No, they don't.

Even a 501(c)(3) public charity only needs to report revenue breakdowns on their 3 largest revenue sources. (And that requirement comes from the IRS, due to the need to prove broad public support).

Corporations law is defined by states, not the Federal government. A lot of large companies are incorporated in Delaware, despite no operational presence in the state, because of favorable state law.

I would argue that a for-profit company shouldn't have to break down by product. After all, if someone saw that Adobe was making 50% of their total income from Illustrator, (which would be a surprise to most in the industry, and thus, very valuable insider knowledge), it would result in competitors also making Illustrator-like products, and harming Adobe's revenues.

Disclosure law isn't a suicide pact.

Another badness that would happen, if corporations were required to do that kind of disclosure, is that corporations would simply form subsidiary Nevada or Wyoming LLCs, and then do all their corporate activities (that they wanted to conceal) inside the LLC. LLCs there have even less disclosure obligation than for-profit corporations - they don't even require the LLCs disclose their members.

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