The SEC is expected to pass a ruling on Wednesday that will allow companies to direct shareholders to the online version of their annual report and mail printed copies only upon request. The rules change obviously reduces the cost of printing and mailing the reports.
80% of shareholders prefer a printed version, presumably because it is easier to read and and more portable.
I've got no issue with directing investors to an easy to read, well designed PDF version with clear, legible graphs and financial statements. However, I suspect many companies will take the shortcut of directing shareholders to the raw, unformatted 10-K. That's not acceptable and hardly user friendly. But then again, perhaps they don't want anyone to actually read the footnotes and explanations behind the numbers.
Read more at CFO.com:
December 11, 2006