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Quarterly Report

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A quarterly report is an interim report that management issues to shareholders each quarter during the fiscal year. The quarterly report has been a fixture of the U.S. investment scene since the 1940s, when the New York Stock Exchange made it a requirement for its listed companies. Since 1970, the S.E.C. has required its own quarterly report, known as the 10-Q. And beginning in 1973, the accounting profession promulgated specific rules for the issuance of financial statements in a quarterly report. The quarterly report has its pluses and minuses. Investors can use it to track a company's performance in a timely manner. But some observers believe that the quarterly report contributes to an investment culture that emphasizes short-term results over long-term performance. Moreover, underlying the quarterly report are numerous estimates of full-year results which may not prove accurate. Notably, much financial data included in the company's annual report is absent from the quarterly report. Perhaps because of these shortcomings, many countries do not require the quarterly report; rather, a semiannual report is sufficient.

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