In the world of investing, it’s easy to get caught up in the headlines and flashy investor presentations. But while we’re distracted, companies are pulling off some clever tricks in their routine SEC filings. These filings, written by lawyers who get paid by the word, contain important information that can often be overlooked. After years of reading these filings, we’ve seen it all.
One strategy companies use is to bury important information within the same filing on the same day. For example, Thermo-Fisher announced a secondary offering to finance a major acquisition. In an 8-K, they casually mentioned that they were likely to receive a “second request” from the FTC related to the merger. Two days later, Life Technologies filed its own 8-K noting that they had indeed received the “second request.” By combining multiple pieces of information in one filing, companies hope that we’ll miss out on crucial details.
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