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Business Research: Annual Report Information

What is an Annual Report ?

Publically traded corporations must provide an Annual Report to shareholders to describe their operations and financial conditions.

The front part of the report often contains graphics, photos and accompanying text , all of which explain the company's activities over the past year. The back part of the report contains detailed financial and operational information.


After the stock market crash in 1929, legislation required that the annual report became a regular component of corporate financial reporting.

Typically, an annual report will contain  the following sections:

                                -Financial Highlights
                                -Letter to the Shareholders
                                -Narrative Text, Graphics and Photos
                                -Management's Discussion and Analysis
                                -Financial Statements
                                -Notes to Financial Statements
                                -Auditor's Report
                                -Summary Financial Data
                                -Corporate Information

Click on the links below to learn more about each section.

from Investopedia com.

How to Read an Annual Report

Not sure how to interpret what you find in an Annual Report?

Check out these links!

Financial Reporting: Streaming Videos

This series of streaming videos from our Films On Demand database  explores the content and format of the three key accounting reports: the cash flow statement, the profit and loss statement, and the balance sheet.

Finding Annual Reports at the Company Website

Most annual reports are available at a company's website.

Look for links to About the Company or Investor Relations. Here is an example from the Coca Cola website:

Click here to get started!

Next, click on Our Company.

Then, click on the Reports link.

There you will find a list of reports, including the annual report.

Getting Annual Reports from the Web

Annual Report websites allow you to view or order an annual report.  Never pay for an annual report!