The annual report to shareholders is a document used by most public companies to disclose corporate information to their shareholders. It is usually a state-of-the-company report, including an opening letter from the Chief Executive Officer, financial data, results of operations, market segment information, new product plans, subsidiary activities, and research and development activities on future programs. Reporting companies must send annual reports to their shareholders when they hold annual meetings to elect directors. Under the proxy rules, reporting companies are required to post their proxy materials, including their annual reports, on their company websites.
The annual report on Form 10-K, which must be filed with the SEC, may contain more detailed information about the company’s financial condition than the annual report and will include the annual financial statements of the company. Companies sometimes elect to send their annual report on Form 10-K to their shareholders in lieu of, or in addition to, providing shareholders with a separate annual report to shareholders.