Reading between the lines at National Oilwell

Late Friday, as most of you already know, is the time when companies take out the trash. Still, when we first spotted the 8-K that National Oilwell (NOV) filed just after 4 pm on Friday, we weren’t sure why it was filed that late in the day, since the gist of the filing — …

Is WebMD in play again?

One of our bittersweet calls from last year was our report on October 5, 2011, that said WebMD (WBMD) might be in play. As it turns out, we were right — only the company ultimately walked away from its suitors without a deal. Now we’re seeing some of the same signals again, while at the […]

A 10-Q roundup for third-quarter 2012

For the last couple years, the third quarter has struck us as particularly significant, probably because companies are rushing to get done (and disclose) what they can before the end of the year. It also helped that the filing deadline for the biggest companies landed right at the start of the three-day Veterans’ Day weekend […]

American Express says its balance will rise

The basic business of a credit-card company is pretty simple: Lend money to customers, collect payments and interest, occasionally go after deadbeat debtors. But most financial companies never keep things quite so simple, and American Express (AXP) has made a big business out of the fringe benefits it offers its cardholders, usually in the form […]

Quick Take: A closer look at Amazon’s Q

Yesterday afternoon, Amazon (AMZN) released its third quarter earnings and held a conference call. The company also filed its 10-Q last night, but since it was filed at 7:35 pm EST, it did not show up in the SEC’s EDGAR system until first thing this morning. While we don’t read every filing — after …

Growing conflicts on conflict minerals disclosures

Two years ago, the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation included a provision that has begun to attract a lot more attention lately: A requirement that many companies evaluate, and disclose, the extent to which they rely on specific minerals that are mined in war-torn Congo and surrounding countries. The idea is to shine a light on […]

IBM visits the Friday night dump

On Friday afternoon at 4:38 pm, IBM filed this 8-K that was a classic example of a “Friday night dump”. Direct and simple, it stated that a decision had been rendered earlier that day by the High Court in London over a pension lawsuit that was filed two years ago and has a fairly …

Less independence at NYSE Euronext

This is a quick one, and one we almost missed: NYSE Euronext (NYX) just reduced the number of independent directors it has to have on its board — significantly. Now the threshold laid out in the company’s bylaws is a bare majority, down from 75% previously. In this case, “previously” refers to versions in effect […]

Second-quarter roundup

The filings have been flooding in since last week. As often happens during the rush, they’ve been so heavy that it’s a major task to simply keep up. That said, we’ve found a variety of disclosures that bear a closer look. Rather than dribbling them out, or waiting until 10-Q season is over, we’re sending […]

QuickTake: Alcoa’s mounting legal challenges

If you pay close attention to Alcoa (AA), chances are you may have caught the announcement back in April that it had hired Audrey Strauss as its new chief legal officer effective August 1. As the release announcing her appointment noted, Strauss was a senior litigation partner at Fried Frank and, earlier in …