Every year, US companies must publish three quarterly and one annual report. Preparing those reports, however, is a lot of effort, does not improve operations, and reveals information to competitors.
How to deal with this? Correct, spend the time to create one comprehensive template and reuse it as long as possible. In an excellent research paper titled “Lazy Prices” (2020), the authors show that US companies are no exception from this: many annual and quarterly reports are basically just updated copies from the previous year.
What does this mean for investors? Since most of the report is just copy-paste, they should rather focus on differences between the current and previous report (for example, new paragraphs). It turns out that such changes are indeed very important: quantitative measures for report copy-paste predict future stock returns and help to achieve outperformance vs. common US indices.