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.


H. Initial Public Offerings

1. Can I find a list of upcoming IPOs on EDGAR?

No. Although you can search for registration statements filed during specific time periods, the data available through EDGAR is not organized by upcoming IPOs. If a registration statement is effective, you may want to check the exchange or market where the security will be listed or quoted to see when the IPO is scheduled.

2. How do I find out the date of an upcoming IPO?

An issuer must file both a registration statements and a prospectus with the SEC. However, these documents will not include the intended date of the IPO. Rather, the company determines the date of the IPO once it meets the listing requirements of the exchange or market where the securities will be listed or quoted.

3. Where can I find historical information about IPOs?

EDGAR does not include a list of historical IPOs. However, if you are looking for the IPO date for an offering made by a specific company, you can check the periodic reports filed near the time of a registration statement to see if they reference the date of the IPO.

4. If a company files a registration statement with the SEC, when will the IPO occur? The filing of a registration statement does not mean that the IPO will occur. First the registration statement may be amended one or more times before it is effective. Even after the registration statement is effective, the company may not pursue the IPO.

5. What is a "shelf" registration?

Issuers may use a Form S-3 registration statement for securities to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis. Issuers use "shelf" registrations when they want securities to be offered as quickly as possible once funds are needed or market conditions are favorable. Since December 2005, "automatic shelf registrations" have been available for certain issuers (i.e. "well-known seasoned issuers"). Automatic shelf registration permits automatic effectiveness, pay-as-you-go registration fees, and the ability to exclude additional information from base prospectuses.