Sometimes I see obvious errors in the 10-K or 10-Q filings that appear to go uncorrected in subsequent filings for the same period.
For example, on June 9, 2014 Apple, Inc. did a 7-to-1 stock split. If you look at all of the
CommonStockSharesOutstanding tag field values in all of the 10-K or 10-Q filings leading up to (but not including) the split, you'll see numbers around 940,000,000. But then things get strange.
On April 24, 2014 (before the split) there are two 10-Q filings (with different DDATEs and the same ADSH, 0001193125-14-157311) that report
CommonStockSharesOutstanding of 889,213 (wrong by a factor of about 1,000). There is no subsequent filing to correct this for 3 months until two July 23, 2014 filings (with different DDATEs and the same ADSH, 0001193125-14-277160) which reports
CommonStockSharesOutstanding of 6,294,494,000 and 5,989,171,000, respectively, reflecting the June 9 7-to-1 split.
Thus, for three months (April 24, 2014 to July 23, 2014) the value of
CommonStockSharesOutstanding was around 900,000 instead of the approximately correct value of 6,300,000,000 up to the split date.
How should these errors, and specifically this type of error, be handled? This data comes straight from the SEC so I don't think there's a more accurate source. Is there? What to do...?