The regulatory obligation to timely file SEC forms is normally considered to be a top priority for public companies and for the people who follow them. But when faced with the catastrophic effects of more than one major hurricane in a span of just a few weeks, such things can take a back seat.
To aid those registrants which have been affected, the SEC has announced regulatory relief options.
The relief allows for those impacted by the hurricanes to submit reports, schedules, or forms later than would ordinarily be required. Registrants looking to take advantage of the relief would have to satisfy three criteria:
- the registrant must be unable to meet its filing deadline due to one of the hurricanes,
- the registrant must file its report, schedule or form by the modified due date, and
- the registrant must disclose it is relying on the SEC’s relief Order.
Registrants affected by Hurricane Harvey had until October 10th to delay the issuance of reports. Out of the 551 registrants with headquarters in Texas, eleven have filed a Notification of Late Filing between August 25 and October 6, 2017.
As seen below, four registrants identified Hurricane Harvey as a contributing factor in their inability to file in a timely manner. Only one company, Synthesis Energy Systems, disclosed that they plan to take advantage of the SEC’s relief Order.
The remaining 3 companies filed within the 15-day grace period allowed by the SEC.
Registrants affected by Hurricane Irma with filing deadlines between September 6 and October 18, 2017, will be able to delay the issuance of reports until October 18, 2017. Of the 319 registrants with headquarters in Florida, only four have filed a Notification of Late Filing since September 6, 2017.
As seen below, only one registrant who disclosed their delay was due in part to Hurricane Irma is headquartered in Florida. The three other companies are headquartered in either Nevada or Ontario.
A look into the disclosures show that mCig, with manufacturing operations in Florida, disclosed that the hurricane caused a lack of power and a lack of communication with the registrant’s auditor. Gold Entertainment, headquartered in Nevada but incorporated in Florida, needed to evacuate and experienced a loss of power. Ontario based company Armeau, has an executive office located in Florida and cited “pre-and post-storm impacts” as the reason for the delay.
Registrants affected by Hurricane Maria with filing deadlines between September 20, 2017 and November 1, 2017 will be able to delay the issuance of reports until November 2, 2017. There are 8 registrants with headquarters in Puerto Rico. No registrants in Puerto Rico have filed Notifications’ of Late Filing since September 20, 2017. Most of these registrants next period end will be September 30, 2017 and will have a filing deadline of November 9, 2017 or later, so their quarterly reports will not be affected by the SEC’s relief Order.
To date, we are unaware of any registrant that has taken advantage of the SEC’s relief order in connection with any of the three hurricanes.