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"Pro Forma" Financial Information: Tips for Investors

"Pro Forma" Financial Information: Tips for investors

Investors should always take the critical step of reading the financial statements of the companies they've invested in, or intend to invest in, because financial statements contain important corporate financial information that may not be readily apparent from news releases.

Following the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the SEC adopted a rule requiring public companies that disclose or release pro forma financial measures to include a presentation of the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure and a reconciliation of the pro forma information to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. The staff also published FAQs to help issuers implement that rule.

You can find the SEC's Cautionary Advice Regarding the Use of "Pro Forma" Financial Information in Earnings Releases, Release Nos. 33-8039, 34-45124, and FR-59, in the Regulatory Actions section of our website.

If you've got questions, you can contact the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy for help. You can send us your complaint using our online complaint form at www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml. Or you can reach us as follows:

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Office of Investor Education and Advocacy
100 F St NE
Washington, D.C. 20549-0213
Fax: (202) 772-9295