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SEC Chair: Filing Delays No Excuse to Keep Investors in Dark

April 2, 2020, 11:14 PM

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton called on companies to provide a steady stream of information to investors regardless of any delays allowed in first-quarter filing deadlines because of the new coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to have an unprecedented earnings period over the next month,” Clayton said during a meeting of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investor advisory group on Thursday.

  • SEC guidance issued last week allows companies to give updates to investors through earnings releases. They can also provide updates on operational changes and other steps they are taking to address the impacts of the outbreak through Form 8-K filings—even if they have to delay the SEC filing, Clayton said.
  • Wall Street closed the books on one of its worst first quarters in history this week as the coronoavirus pandemic crippled the economy, sending stock prices plummeting. Investors are focused on what cash companies have on hand to assess who will be able to outlast the pandemic.
  • First-quarter reports would normally be due mid-May, but the commission provided a 45-day extension to companies if they need the extra time due to the virus outbreak.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Iacone in Washington at aiacone@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergtax.com; Yuri Nagano at ynagano@bloombergtax.com

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