Research Public Companies Through EDGAR: A Guide for Investors

This is a great introduction to resources that you can use to research any public company. All public companies must report their financials; quarterly reports, end of year tax forms, changes in top management, and so on. If you ever need to look up a company, this will give you the tools you need to navigate the public records system.


F. Insider Transactions

1. When must corporate insiders disclose their transactions in the issuer's securities? Our "Fast Answer" on Forms 3, 4, and 5, describes the disclosure requirements for corporate insiders. In general, changes in ownership are reported on Form 4 and must be reported to the SEC within two business days (this reporting time frame became effective on August 29, 2002).

2. Can I search for insider transactions by the individual's name?

Yes. You can search the EDGAR database by typing in the individual's last name and first name in the box marked company in the Companies and other Filers search page. You also can search by the individual's CIK number.

3. Must all corporate officers disclose their transactions? No. Rule 16a-1(f) defines who is an "officer" for purposes of filing Forms 3, 4, and 5. These individuals include, but are not limited to, the issuer's president, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, and the vice-presidents of the issuer's principal business units or divisions.

4. Can I search EDGAR only for insider forms?

Yes. You can limit a search to the insider transaction forms by clicking the radio button marked "only".

5. Can I find a list of all insider transactions for a specific time period?

Yes. In addition to doing a header search by form type and date, you can find insider transaction reports for previous five business days by using the current events analysis. However, you will not be able to limit your search to only Forms 3, 4, and 5.

6. Why can't I find Forms 3, 4, and 5 filed prior to June 2003?

Prior to June 30, 2003, the SEC did not require that Forms 3, 4 and 5 be filed electronically through EDGAR, although filers had the discretion to do so. You can submit a request for a hard-copy of these manually-filed forms.