On Veteran’s Day and late filers…

November 11, 2009

Today is Veteran’s Day, which means that the SEC (and all federal offices) are closed, even though the markets are open. Given that Monday was a big deadline for (mostly) third quarter Qs, it gives us a chance to play catch up and check in on those companies that couldn’t make it to the church on time by Monday night’s deadline.

One of the cool sites that’s surfaced since the last time I had to go trudging through NT-10Q filings back in August is SEC Watch which is working mightily to open up the black box that is the SEC’s Edgar. Now Edgar has improved mightily over the years — trust me on this one — but it is still incredibly cumbersome to navigate, which is why I’ve long used 10KWizard, which was renamed Morningstar Document Research in late August.

But some people don’t want to pay to access SEC filings and that’s where SEC Watch comes in. With one click, I can get a list of every company that filed an NT 10-Q the past few days. Then I can quickly skim the list and look for names that are worth paying closer attention to. I also like the fact that you can see full images of the individual pages — kind of the way that Scribd works. (Full disclosure: I am listed as an advisor for the site, which means that me and the two co-founders, Jason Zucchetto and Chris Auer have gotten together for tea once).

When I was looking at the list of late filers, one of the filings that popped out immediately was American Apparel (APP), which I remember also filed a late Q in August. The company managed to file its 10-Q yesterday, but the excuse that it listed in the NT-10Q of “unanticipated technical difficulties” reminded me — perhaps unfairly — of Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction from the 2004 Super Bowl.

The bottom line is that anything that makes digging through SEC filings a bit less cumbersome is a welcome addition. Reading filings and interpreting them is hard enough!

Happy Veteran’s Day!

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