As I sit at home working remotely (AGAIN!) due to the latest snowstorm, I am struck by the thought of how paralyzing this winter has been. Similar to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, this snowy and icy winter is likely to have a material affect on many public companies.
Companies should consider whether additional disclosure should be added to their earnings releases or periodic filings regarding the potential effects of this winter season. In particular, companies should consider whether to include disclosure related to this winter season in the following areas:
- Forward-looking statements – references to the winter season as one of the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected;
- Risk Factors– risk factor related to the potential impact of this winter season on their results of operations and financial position;
- MD&A – disclosure about the effects of this winter season if the report is filed after the winter season affected the company and/or as a known trend, event or uncertainty;
- Guidance – companies should consider whether guidance given in the past or currently being issued may be affected by the winter season. Companies should consider whether it is necessary to point out that such guidance did or does not take into account the effects of this winer season or estimates the effects of this winter season.
Hopefully this winter madness will end soon and we can all get back to our routines as usual. Stay safe and warm.