Up-to-date earnings reports for publicly traded companies can be found through financial news publications and websites such as USA Today and Yahoo Finance, or through earnings calendars such as the Morningstar Big Charts. The Securities and Exchange Commission also maintains official records of all earnings reports.
Earnings reports are official announcements of a publicly traded company's financial gains and losses over a specific period of time. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires all public companies to release this information so that anyone interested or currently investing in that company can be aware of its successes or failures. Many investment brokers use this information to gauge how and when they invest in a company, as high earnings or steady growth are key indicators of a solid business that could yield high returns.
Officially, companies are required to file a 10-Q form that contains detailed information about company profits, losses, cash flows and financial projections. As this information can be extremely detailed and confusing, companies also issue a press release with the earnings statement that summarizes its content. However, many companies have been known to characterize the data in overly positive ways, which provides a false impression of success for investors.