More Companies Decide to Furnish SEC Reports Using Interactive Data
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., May 23, 2006 - Four months after offering significant new incentives for companies to furnish their financial information in computer-readable interactive data format, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that the list of participating firms has grown to 20. Interactive data holds the promise of transforming the static, text-only documents companies furnish with the SEC into dynamic financial reports that can be quickly and easily accessed and analyzed by millions of users.
The growing number of participants was boosted by the addition of three new companies announced today: General Electric Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; and Banco Itaś Holding Financeira S.A.
The now 20 firms that have joined the initiative thus far, including some of America's best-known publicly traded companies, will receive expedited reviews of their SEC registration statements and annual reports. For their part, the companies will furnish the financial data in their periodic reports to the SEC using the XBRL data-tagging format informally known as interactive data. The arrangement will last for at least one year, during which the firms will provide feedback to the SEC on their experience with interactive data. The information gained in this way will lead to a better understanding of how interactive data can improve the financial reporting process for investors, financial intermediaries, the SEC, and the companies themselves.
Interactive data permits individual investors and analysts to quickly search for individual items of information from financial reports, such as net income, executive compensation, or mutual fund expenses. It also enables them to download selected information directly into financial software. In the near future, it is hoped that popular Internet applications will permit automatic, real-time delivery of SEC financial data direct to anyone's desktop.
"Interactive data will vastly improve the delivery of financial information to individuals and institutions alike," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "It has the potential to slash hours of waste, cost, and inefficiency - not just for the users of financial data, but for the companies that prepare it as well. Even more importantly, it will help level the playing field for tens of millions of average investors."
"This is in keeping with all of our recent policy initiatives at the Commission, which are designed to improve the quality of disclosure for the average investor," Chairman Cox added. "Our aim is to empower everyday investors to make better decisions for their families, their retirement, their health care, their education and their savings."
In another recent development in the move to interactive data, the Commission has announced that it will conduct the first in a series of interactive data roundtable discussions at the Commission's headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 12, 2006. Topics will include discussions of what information is most helpful to investors, how to accelerate the use of new software that permits the dissemination of interactive financial data, and how to best design the SEC's disclosure requirements to take maximum advantage of the potential of interactive data.
The June 12 roundtable will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The roundtable will also be webcast at www.sec.gov. Additional details on the program agenda and panelists will be announced later this month.
And on Tuesday, May 30, also in Washington, D.C., representatives of the SEC, including Chairman Christopher Cox, will participate in a conference at the American Enterprise Institute entitled "The SEC's Interactive Data Revolution: Improved Disclosure for Investors, Less Expensive Reporting for Companies." The Chairman will deliver the keynote address. Details on this program are available on the AEI website at http://aei.org/events.
The companies that have already committed to furnish their financial information with the SEC using interactive data are:
Altria Group, Inc.
Banco Itaś Holding Financeira S.A.
Brazilian Petroleum Corporation
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
The Dow Chemical Company
General Electric Company
Gol Intelligent Airlines, Inc.
Infosys Technologies Limited
Mobile Reach International, Inc.
Net Servicos De Comunicacao SA
Old Mutual Capital, Inc.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company
South Financial Group, Inc.
United Technologies Corporation
XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc.
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