All publicly traded companies are required to file a 10-K report each year to the SEC. The 10-K report is similar to the annual report, except that it contains more detailed information about the company's business, finances, and management. It also includes the bylaws of the company, other legal documents, and information about any lawsuits in which the company is involved. If you are looking for information that you can't find in the annual report, be sure to check out the 10-K.
10-Q Reports (Quarterly Reports)
You can think of quarterly reports (also called 10-Q reports) as abbreviated versions of the annual report that are issued every three months instead of every year. Quarterly reports contain financial statements, a discussion from the management, and a list of "material events" that have occurred with the company (such as a stock split or acquisition).
Publicly traded companies must file Form 8-K with the SEC whenever any "material event" occurs that might affect the company's financial condition. The list of material events that must be reported includes stock splits, mergers, management changes, and secondary stock offerings. This information will appear in the subsequent 10-Q, but the 8-K is a faster way to find out about such events.
Every year, each publicly traded company holds a meeting at which the company's business is discussed and common shareholders cast their votes for the Board of Directors. Shortly before each annual meeting, companies send out a document called a proxy statement to each shareholder. The proxy statement contains a list of the business concerns to be addressed at the meeting and a ballot for voting on company initiatives and electing the new Board. This proxy ballot authorizes someone else at the meeting (usually the management team) to vote on your behalf.