2018: The year in filings

Each January, we like to take a look back at the prior year’s trends in filings.

For the second year in a row, the number of filings made to the SEC dropped modestly. In 2018, the total number of filings was 648,803, compared with 655,792 filings for 2017. While it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions from this data, it seems worth exploring why the number of filings has been falling modestly, given the current anti-regulatory climate in Washington D.C. Just to put this into perspective, the largest number of filings since we’ve been tracking this statistic was in 2007 — the year before the last stock market bubble burst — when 750,000 filings were made to the SEC.

As always, the busiest filing day of the year was Valentine’s Day (aw…how sweet), which is not only peak time for 10-Ks, but also 13Ds, 13Gs and 13Fs. Indeed, as we have often tweeted in the past, EDGAR often crashes on that day, especially after 4 pm, when the filings really start to rev up. In 2018, the largest single 10-K was this one filed by Entergy Corp.

Financial firms continued their spot in the Top 5, in terms of total number of filings made. UBS took the top spot with nearly 6,500 filings made in 2018. JP Morgan and Credit Suisse each made over 5,000 filings each. That’s a sharp uptick over prior years. In 2016, for example, JP Morgan filed 4,085 filings.

Surprisingly, 8-Ks remained relatively consistent. In 2018, there were 67,580 8-Ks filed, compared with 67,004 for 2017.

One thing we did notice, however, is that the Friday Night Dump — those filings made after 4 pm on a Friday afternoon — dropped pretty sharply. In prior years, we’ve found that those filings account for around 8% to 9% of all 8-Ks filed. But this past year, they only accounted for 5.7%. Again, we’re not sure why.

All of these numbers are courtesy of Kaleidoscope, a new SEC filings data feed that I’ve been using recently. The guys behind Kaleidoscope were also behind 10KWizard, the service that I used for many years until Morningstar closed it and sold the business to Intelligize, which, in turn, was sold to Lexis Nexis.