Mar 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

SEC says companies impacted by coronavirus can delay earnings filings

SEC chair testifying

SEC chairman Jay Clayton testifies during the House Financial Services Committee hearing, Oct. 4, 2017. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday it would give coronavirus-impacted companies more time to file key financial documents — including quarterly reports — on a conditional basis.

Why it matters: It's among the first agencies to announce regulatory relief for corporations affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

  • If granted an extension by the SEC, Wall Street may get details about whether the coronavirus hurt these companies' bottom lines — and by how much — later than usual.

Details: Companies that can show they need extra time because their operations have been impacted by the outbreak may get a 45-day extension to file regulatory documents.

  • "Disruptions to transportation, and limited access to facilities, support staff, and professional advisors as a result of COVID-19, could hamper the efforts of public companies and other persons with filing obligations to meet their filing deadlines," the SEC notes.

What they're saying: The "situation may prevent certain [companies] from compiling these reports within required timeframes," SEC chairman Jay Clayton said in a press release.

  • But Clayton warned companies "to provide investors with insight regarding their assessment of, and plans for addressing, material risks to their business" as a result of the coronavirus.
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