SEC Adopts Amendments to Share Repurchase Disclosure

Posted by Howard Berkenblit on May 4, 2023 at 9:08 AM

The SEC today adopted amendments to the disclosure requirements relating to repurchases of an issuer’s equity securities, including:

  • requiring issuers to provide daily repurchase activity on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, depending on the type of issuer (note the proposed rules would have required next day disclosure so the final rules provide significantly more time for reporting the data). The required disclosures include, for each day on which a repurchase was conducted, the number of shares repurchased that day (including whether they were intended to qualify for the safe harbor in Rule 10b-18) and the average price paid, among other things. The information will be filed, as the case may be (1) as an exhibit to Forms 10-Q and 10-K for domestic issuers, (2) in annual and semi-annual reports on Form N-CSR for listed closed-end funds and (3) quarterly on a new Form F-SR for foreign private issuers due within 45 days after each quarter end. The new disclosures will replace existing requirements regarding monthly repurchase data in Regulation S-K, Form 20-F and Form N-CSR.
  • issuers will be required to include a checkbox indicating whether certain officers and directors traded in the relevant securities in the four business days before or after the announcement of the repurchase plan or program.
  • the amendments will revise and expand narrative repurchase disclosure requirements to require that an issuer disclose: (1) the objectives or rationales for its share repurchases and the process or criteria used to determine the amount of repurchases; and (2) any policies and procedures relating to purchases and sales of the issuer’s securities during a repurchase program by its officers and directors, including any restriction on such transactions.
  • the amendments will add a new item 408(d) to Regulation S-K to require quarterly disclosure in periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K about an issuer’s adoption and termination of Rule 10b5-1 trading arrangements.

Foreign private issuers will disclose the quantitative data in new Form F-SR beginning with the Form F-SR that covers the first full fiscal quarter that begins on or after April 1, 2024, and provide the narrative disclosure starting in the first Form 20-F filed after their first Form F-SR has been filed. Registered closed-end management investment companies that are exchange traded will disclose the quantitative data and provide the narrative disclosure on Form N-CSR beginning with the Form N-CSR that covers the first six-month period that begins on or after January 1, 2024. All other issuers will be required to include the quantitative data as an exhibit to their Forms 10-Q and 10-K  and provide the narrative disclosure in their Forms 10-Q and 10-K beginning with the first filing that covers the first full fiscal quarter that begins on or after October 1, 2023.

Topics: disclosure requirements, Securities and Exchange Commission

More SEC Guidance on COVID-19 Disclosure

Posted by Howard Berkenblit on June 24, 2020 at 10:11 AM

The SEC staff has issued new guidance regarding companies’ disclosure considerations regarding operations, liquidity and capital resources in light of COVID-19. The guidance, which largely reiterates the same themes as the staff’s prior guidance, encourages companies to provide disclosures that allow investors to evaluate the current and expected impact of COVID-19 “through the eyes of management” and to proactively revise and update disclosures as facts and circumstances change.

The new guidance focuses on three areas:

  1. Operations, liquidity and capital resources – this part of the guidance focuses on disclosures about the impact of adjustments being made by companies such as teleworking, supply chain and distribution adjustments, suspension of repurchase plans and dividends and changes in response to health and safety guidelines. In particular, the guidance contains a number of “considerations” in the form of questions for companies to consider addressing in their disclosures with respect to financing activities, short- and long-term liquidity risks and alternative funding sources.
  2. Government assistance – CARES Act – this part of the guidance focuses on disclosure considerations about the impact of government assistance to those companies receiving COVID-19-related loans, tax relief or other benefits, including the impact on related critical accounting estimates and assumptions.
  3. Ability to continue as a going concern – this part of the guidance focuses on whether the conditions and events surrounding COVID-19 raise substantial doubt about a company’s ability to meet its obligations.

Companies offering securities or preparing disclosure documents such as upcoming quarterly reports should carefully review and apply the new guidance (it’s quite short and clear!) (and of course continue to apply prior SEC guidance to updated changing circumstances).

Topics: disclosure requirements, SEC Filings, coronavirus, COVID-19

SEC Statement on COVID-19 Disclosure

Posted by Howard Berkenblit on April 9, 2020 at 9:04 AM

The Chair of the SEC and the Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance put out an unusual joint statement emphasizing the importance of disclosures about the potential impacts of COVID-19, particularly in light of upcoming earnings releases and analyst and investor calls. They "urge companies to provide as much information as is practicable regarding their current financial and operating status, as well as their future operational and financial planning." Disclosures should respond to investor interest in: (1) where the company stands today, operationally and financially, (2) how the company’s COVID-19 response, including its efforts to protect the health and well-being of its workforce and its customers, is progressing, and (3) how its operations and financial condition may change as collective efforts to fight COVID-19 progress. Among other things, the statement stresses the need for forward-looking information about the possible consequences to each company (and promises not to second guess companies’ good faith efforts). Notably the statement observes that "Historical information may be relatively less significant." We recommend as each public company considers its upcoming public disclosures to review this statement in detail and try to respond to the expectations and requests that it contains.

Topics: disclosure requirements, SEC Filings, covid

Chipping away at disclosure overload

Posted by Howard Berkenblit on July 14, 2016 at 5:15 PM

SEC disclosure

Yesterday, the SEC proposed amendments to eliminate redundant, overlapping, outdated, or superseded provisions, in light of subsequent changes to SEC disclosure requirements, U.S. GAAP, IFRS and technology. The SEC also solicited comment on certain disclosure requirements that overlap with U.S. GAAP to determine whether to retain, modify, eliminate or refer them to the FASB for potential incorporation into U.S. GAAP. The proposing release is part of the SEC’s disclosure effectiveness review (criticized of late by Senator Warren), which is a broad-based staff review of the requirements, and the presentation and delivery of disclosures that companies make to investors. The proposals are also part the implementation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which, among other things, requires the SEC to eliminate provisions of Regulation S-K that are duplicative, overlapping, outdated, or unnecessary. The proposals are subject to public comment and may or may not be enacted in the near-term, but many of them appear to be “low hanging fruit” that are common-sense, non-controversial changes that would help public companies to at least start to chip away at their bulging disclosure documents. While not radical changes, it’s a step in the right direction to see some of the simplification concepts the SEC has discussed for months start to move to the proposal stage.

Find more SEC resources on our Capital Markets page.

Topics: SEC, disclosure requirements, FAST Act, GAAP

SEC solicits public comment on audit committee disclosures

Posted by Howard Berkenblit on July 1, 2015 at 4:51 PM

The SEC today voted to publish a concept release seeking public comment on current audit committee disclosure requirements, focusing on the committee’s oversight of independent auditors. The SEC is interested in receiving information about the audit committee and auditor relationship and whether improvements can be made to enhance the information provided to investors about the audit committee’s responsibilities and activities. In addition to seeking views about audit committee disclosures, the concept release invites comment on whether SEC disclosure requirements should be refined to provide more insight into the information the audit committee used and the factors it considered in overseeing the independent auditor. This includes considerations related to the process for appointing or retaining the auditor and the qualifications of the auditor and certain members of the engagement team, among others.

Topics: audit committee, disclosure requirements, auditor

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About the Blog

The SEC Pulse provides updates and commentary from our Capital Markets Group on issues affecting publicly traded and privately owned businesses, investment banks and foreign companies who trade or raise capital in the United States, and boards of directors and company officers in securities transactions and corporate governance matters.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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