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Transactional Law Research

This guide provides an overview of transactional law research resources.

Annual Reports to Shareholders

Annual reports to shareholders ("glossy" reports) disclose corporate information to shareholders. These state-of-the-company reports are not required SEC filings and are not the same thing as the 10-K. Companies will typically file a 10-K report with the SEC and send an annual report to its shareholders each year. An annual report typically contains less detailed information compared to the 10-K, but it will often also include materials not found in the 10-K such as pictures, color diagrams and graphics, and a letter from the CEO. 


Recent or Current Annual Reports

Companies' Investor Relations Webpages: Recent annual reports can generally be found on a company's investor relations webpage because proxy rules require companies to post proxy materials (including annual reports) on their company websites. An easy way to access an investor relations webpage for a company is to conduct a Google search for [name of company] + "investor relations." For example: Apple "investor relations."  


EDGAR: Some companies submit annual reports through EDGAR. The SEC used to scan and upload annual reports that companies sent to them via mail, but stopped this practice in 2014. The filing type to input on EDGAR to retrieve annual reports to security holders is ARS. 

Many companies have now replaced the ARS with Form 10-K, a more comprehensive filing required by the SEC. 10-K annual reports can be found on EDGAR.


Historical Annual Reports

Electronic Databases

Microcard and Microfiche (Green Library Media & Microtext Center)

Green Library Media & Microtext Center has historical annual reports available on microcard and microfiche for U.S. companies from 1950-89. Use the Advanced Search option on SearchWorks to identify whether Stanford University Libraries has a particular annual report for a company available. Type in the company's name in the Author/Contributor field and "Annual Report" in the Title field. 

The catalog record will identify the years of coverage available for that company. Library staff in the Media & Microtext Center can assist you with using the microfiche machines.