Want to know how leading c-stores are doing financially and maybe even discover their strategy? Here are a few methods.
The first way to find operations and financial information is through the company’s investor relations website.
Using Marathon Petroleum as an example, their investor relations site is very useful. You can also find recordings, presentations, and other material that you won’t necessarily find on the SEC’s website which is the second method described.
The second way is to search the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) databases.
If you aren’t familiar with the SEC, it is the federal agency responsible for regulating the securities markets. Their job is to make sure that investors are dealt with fairly and that includes having access to a publicly-traded company’s financial reports and other important information.
Of the 161 report types, I’m focusing on 2, the 8-K and 10-K. These 2 stand out since they provide current news and the official results of a company. To find them, use the basic or advanced search options.
Form 8-K. The current news found in the 8-Ks can become headline stories since the form is required when something important has happened at the company. These “major events” as defined by the SEC include entering into or terminating an agreement, bankruptcy, completing an acquisition, the election or departure of directors, results of operations, and financial statements. Look for the exhibits included with the 8-K submission. Why? They can include a press release, presentation, and summary among other documents that are much more “digestible” for journalists and the general public.
Form 10-K. An in-depth review of the annual operations and results of the company is found in the 10-K report. It’s required by publicly traded companies. It is also sometimes included as part of the annual report to the shareholders. It goes over the business, the competition, assets, legal proceedings, financial results, offers supplemental data such as business unit or geographical results, list of executives, and their compensation among other items.
1. Conducting a basic search for Marathon on the SEC site
2. Select Marathon Petroleum Corp from the Search Results
3. Filter for the Form Needed, 8-K in this Example
4. Open an 8-K Report and Look for the Exhibits