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Freeedgar/edgar online/edgarpro

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Service/portal name: FreeEDGAR (http://www.freedgar.com EDGAR Online (http://www.edgar-online.com/start.asp), an EDGARpro (http://www.edgarpro.cm) are related Web sites from the same parent company.

All contain public company filing information from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Source description: Public companies in the United States and foreign companies trading on U.S. stock exchanges are require to file various types of disclosure documents with the SEC.

Beginning in 1996, these filings were required to be made electronically EDGAR is an acronym for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval, the term the SEC uses for the electronic gathering and storing use as a generic term for an electronic archieve or repository of company filings made with the SEC.

EDGAR Online, Inc. produces three resources to give use access to SEC filings. These resources vary in content and functionality.

The free resource, FreeEDGAR, requires users to regist before they can access information on the site.

EDGAR Online is fee subscription site that builds on FreeEDGAR’s functionality resulting in more advanced searching and other capabilities EDGARpro is a fee subscription site aimed at professionals, contains the same functionality as EDGAR Online, but with some additional features. These three services will be examined in the following section.

Source content: This summary provides information on the three EDGAR resources: FreeEDGAR, EDGAR Online, and EDGARpro.

FreeEDGAR. This resource provides access to thousands of SEC filings, updated as the filings are received.

You can search for filings fro a specific date or by from type (i.e., 10-K), or you can perform a quick search by company name or ticker symbol. A Watchlist feature allows users to track the filings for companies they select.

You can search for companies by name, ticker symbol, or SIC (Stanard Industrial Classification) code by clicking on the Search Filings link. Enter as many as ten ticker symbols per search.

A search by ticker symbol will bring up a Search Results page, which offers two options: View Filings or Add to Your Watchlist.

The page also includes a More Info box with links to EDGAR Online and other options; some of these options and the Watchlist require a subscription to EDGAR Online to use.

Filings appear in a frames format, which can be changed to no frames if desired. The filings can be navigated via a table of contents.

Although you will note a link to a filing when using the frames version of FreeEDGAR, you cannot download filings in Rich Text Format (RTF) from the link.

You can print the filing from your browser screen and you can also change the font size, but any downloading requires a subscription to EDGAR Online. This is an example of the minimal functionality that exists within FreeEDGAR.

EDGAR Online. This resource functions almost identically to FreeEDGAR. A quick search feature allows searches by either company name or ticker symbol, and you can also view today’s filings.

The added value that comes with the subscription is that you can now download your filings in RTF format, create a Watchlist, and search the full text of fillings.

In EDGAR Online, you can search full-text filings by company name, ticker symbol, CIK (the Centran Index Key is a unique identifier assigned by the SE to each filing company), industry, sector, city, state, and form type and you can limit by data range or target by a specific date. Full-text searches will go back to 1994.

Users can order hard copies of a company’s annual report obtain further information, such as a Company Dossier, financial informtion, stock quotes and charts, free analyst research, initial public offering (IPO) information, or a list of executives and directors.

With the Premium Research tool, users can link to other fee resources, such as Dun & Bradstreet and Multex.

EDGAR Online also provides a link to Global Information, a section the covers sme non-U.S. companies. These can be browsed by company name, country, index, or exchange or accessed via a quick advanced search.

EDGARpro. This resource is a subscription site with EDGAR Online’s functionality, as well as additional features. It allows use to enter “tracker” numbers that appear in usage reports, allowing for the charging back of research costs to clients.

The full-text search template automatically appears on the EDGARpro home page, and the ubiquitous Quick Search option appears at the top of the page as well. The full-text search function identically to that in EDGAR Online.

For instance, a search 10-Ks for disclosure about “exploitation costs,” which include the marketing and advertising of feature films, retrieves the result shown in.

EDGARpro allows users to access company profiles from the results list (see the P icon in), as well as download filings in RTF or Excel format. You can also track which filings you have viewed via the check mark in the Viewed column.

Search can be saved using the Save or Save As links. You can administrate your saved searches by clicking on the Monitor tab.

Filings EDGARpro are more professional in appearance than those FreeEDGAR, and the results also print well without any need for formatting by the user. EDGAR Online filings also print well.

EDGARpro’s ProSearch feature allows for full-text searching of filings, with the option to include or exclude paper filings.

As previously noted, EDGARpro enables users to charge back their usage or to track it through its Tracker feature. Information entered into the Tracker appears on usage reports you can download from the EDGARpro site.

Source evaluation: FreeEDGAR is aimed at the laypersn as has limited functionality. Even though links to such features full-text search appear on the FreeEDGAR home page, those features require a subscription to EDGAR Online.

FreeEDGAR very basic in its offerings and can be a quick, free resource to use when simply trying to find company filings by SIC code and with it does not matter whether the filings “look pretty.”

It can also be quick resource for finding company filings in general, but the EDGAR database at the Securities & Exchange Commission Web site is jus as quick and easy to use, with about the same functionality.

In fact, the filings from the SEC Web site look better who printed. FreeEDGARalso contains lots of advertising, including pop-up ads, which distract from its usability and can make difficult to find information.

Finally, every time you log in FreeEDGAR, you receive an “offer” page; you must scroll down the page and then accept or decline the offer before you can process to using FreeEDGAR itself. This is very annoying and keeps appearing no matter how often you decline.

EDGAR Online is designed for the savvy layperson. It increased functionality over FreeEDGAR, especially the full-text search and download capabilities, makes it worth the subscriptled price.

In the subscription format there is also a sharp decrease the number of ads on the site, which reduces clutter and confusion and increases usability.

The search results are difficult to browse however, because of the way they appear on the screen.

With must of the emphasis on promoting EDGARpro and other areas of the site, the remaining screen area is “stuffed” with too much information for the limited space. Similar data sources, such 10k Wizard, are easier to use and browse.

In EDGARpro, however, you are able to view your search terms in context within the filings by clicking on the HTML link next to the filing name in the search results list, and then using the First Hit/Next Hit/Last Hit buttons.

EDGARpro is aimed at professional researchers and would be the best option for librarians and information professionals.

Its search functionality and results lists are the best of the three related products. Ads are minimal, and download capability is extended to Excel format, which is important for the financial information in SEC filings.

The Tracker feature allows for usage tracking and reporting – another vital feature allows for usage tracking and reporting – another vital feature of any subscription service used in a business research setting.

The company summaries and profiles include financial ratio information, institutional ownership, newswire stories, and other information missing from both FreeEDGAR and EDGAR Online.

One drawback is that you cannot see your search terms in context when viewing filings. Also, interntional content is accessed via Global Reports or Perfect Information, and not in the general search features.

SOURCE VALUE RATING: All of the data source reviewers were asked to rate each source on the basis of the following eight categories, using “10” as the highest rating and “1” as the lowest (“80” being a perfect score):

1. Relative cost-to-value:   6
2. Relative timeliness of data:   9
3. Relative comprehensiveness of data:  7
4. Ease of use:     6
5. Search options available:   7
6. Level of support services:   8
7. Level of training offered:   8
8. Amount/kinds of special services offered: 6
Total Rating:     57
   

Useful tips
• It is best to use FreeEDGAR solely for finding known entities, such as a specific company’s 10-K filing.

• Full-text searching of any kind with these three products can be done only in EDGAR Online or EDGARpro.

• For obtaining copies of filings, use EDGAR Online or EDGARpro, you wish to print free copies of filings without using a subscription resource, use the SEC’s Web site (http://www.sec.gov).

• EDGARpro has the most functionality and value-add of the three resources.
 

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