Archive for the ‘SEC Reports’ Category

SEC goes interactive

January 6, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved requiring public companies to release interactive versions of their financial data.  What I think this means is that it will be possible to download financial tables in XML and run independent calculations on the numbers in Excel and other applications.  The SEC has also unveiled, IDEA, Interactive Data Electronic Applications, which will replace EDGAR as the platform for these new capabilities. 

This could have big implications to the companies that currently re-package and sell this data.  I’m sure they are working furiously to get new products and services to market to take advantage of these developments.

News release

Boo-hoo Marlboro man

January 4, 2009

Philip Morris International isn’t very happy about the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.  But in their 2nd quarter 10-Q, SEC filing they pretend they are; saying that they are in agreement with much of the Framework’s regulatory goals but, “the extreme applications” of the treaty provisions “may adversely affect our business, volume…cash flows and financial positions.”  However, in their 3rd quarter filing, the language about their business woes is strangely missing.

Why is that?  Did they think investors might not feel good about themselves  if they have to choose between stronger regulations equals fewer tobacco-related deaths vs. stronger regulations equals lower Philip Morris profits?  Shame on those SEC report writers!  Gloss, distract and obscure; those are the writing skills required for that job.

TMI! Worst SEC disclosures of 2008

December 31, 2008

Fun poll over at where you can vote on which disclosure was must embarrassing.  My top favorites were Wal-Mart’s $1,350 an hour for a legal consultant and Playboy’s 400k for Hugh Hefner’s live-in girlfriends (I voted for Hugh).

But there are more so go vote now!

Car-Mart profits in downturn

December 16, 2008

10-Q Detective looks at the used car market and finds one company succeeding by adapting.  Car-Mart is selling and financing cars to a high-risk sector providing them cars they need, cars that will get them to their jobs.  While other used car dealers like AutoNation and CarMax are suffering because they have too much inventory of luxury and sports cars, Car-Mart has carved out a lower-end niche and its working.  The report goes on to say that there are risks because credit defaults are rising and particularly among Car-Marts primary market but the company has decentralized credit issuance and collection decisions allowing each dealership to work out arrangements with borrowers. 

To me, this goes to the point that even in bad economic times, companies can make money if they can adapt and if they pay attention to what people need.

Energy companies dog & pony shows

December 12, 2008

Michelle Leder over at  has a great post about the sudden flurry of energy company slide shows filed as the SEC 8-Ks.  She points in particular to this slideshowby Alliance Holdings which lists the positives and negatives about the coming (40 days or so!  yippee!) Obama administration.  In particular she mentions “something called new MSHA.”

Well, that would the Mine Safety Health Administration and I’m guessing that under the Bush administration it was more like the unMSHA and that the energy companies kinda liked it that way.  But maybe I’m just projecting!

Nordstrom’s warning: upscale card defaulters

December 12, 2008

10-Q Detective  spotted this warning in Nordstrom’s third quarter 10-Q reporting.  The rates of default on Nordstrom’s credit cards, geared to the higher-end shopper, has risen dramatically with write-offs on credit debt rising in the last 9 months from 3.4% to 5.7%.

Earlier, I posted about the likelihood that credit card companies might be the next industry with its hat out for some Fed $$$ love.  If Nordstrom’s is having trouble with writing off card debt, what’s going on at the lower-end?

More plain English from the SEC

December 1, 2008

The Securities and Exchanage Commission unanimously ruled that a “plain English” executive summary must be made available on the cover of a mutual fund prospectus.  Now I don’t mean to be a curmudgeon but really, shouldn’t this be the case with all such filings?  Isn’t “plain-English” what we Americans speak?

Okay, I’ll get on board and applaud them and encourage them not to stop here but to make sure ALL filings have an executive summary in “plain English.”

New release

Dell Computer Litigation: IP issues

November 26, 2008

A review of Dell’s legal proceedings in its most recent 10-Q, shows that IP issues loom large.  There is also shareholder derivative suits but without reviewing the underlying litigation, I can’t determine the business relevance.  However, there are two other suits they mention that do raise questions about their business.

One involves a copyright issue in Germany that Dell is contesting where the government wants to impose a levy on equipment that facilitates making private copyrights of materials.  Could this be an issue for Dell elsewhere?  What about the EU?  Asia? 

The second involves a patent dispute with Lucent Technologies and while in the 10-Q, Dell paints a rosy picture of the likely outcome, they had set aside $55 million for indemity purposes growing out of this dispute which also involves Microsoft.  The issue this raises for me is one of innovation.  Is Dell on the front lines of new technology or more interest in “borrowing” that which has already been developed?

Dell’s latest 10-Q

Antitrust suits not new for Qualcomm

November 20, 2008

Its been awhile since I’ve mentioned the power of SEC filings for analyzing a business from its litigation perspective so I thought I’d use the recent Qualcomm antitrust suit as an opportunity.

The company’s most recent 10-K was filed just in September and they do an excellent job of outlining their litigation, giving dates, courts, case names.  Two things standout; they are in fierce competition with Broadcom Corporation as they are involved in both patent infringement and antitrust lawsuits with them.  The second thing is that everyone is coming after them for antitrust violations in countries such as Japan and Korea.  The EU has also been handling claims made by a range of companies. 

They are also famous in legal circles as the poster child of what not to do in terms of e-discovery related to their litigation with Broadcom.  Sanctions anyone?  Ouch.

Blockbuster Belly-up?

November 18, 2008

According to this posting in, Blockbuster’s most recent 10-Q suggests that the credit crunch has hit them hard.   I’ve never been found of them.  I dislike the way they focus on really popular movies and discriminate against NC-17 films.  And the stores!  Oy vay.

Link to blog posting