The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that all publicly traded companies use Form 8-k to report anything that could have a significant effect on the financial position of the company or the value of its shares.
Events and changes that must be reported - in most cases within four days - include bankruptcy, mergers, acquisitions, amendments to the corporate charter or by-laws, a change of directors, a change in the fiscal year, and even a change of name or address of the company.
A company's Form 8-k becomes public information once it is filed, and you can find the report in the SEC's EDGAR database. These 8-k filings are designed to level the playing field between general investors and investors who have special access to information about a company.
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