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In the discussion about HR 4164 we’ve heard a lot about the ‘hardships’ faced by the ‘small, development stage companies’ who are ‘struggling’ to meet their XBRL requirement.

First of all, it’s our opinion that the benefits of being publically listed are equally great whether you are large or small, and therefore size should not be an factor in your reporting requirement.

But putting that aside for a moment, let’s take a look at just one of these “emerging growth” companies that would be exempted, if in fact a limit of $250 million in revenue were enacted.

Introducing Isis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISIS)
Publicly traded for: 23 years
Market cap: $5.4 BILLION
Only 147.3 million in revenue in 2013
BUT $847 MILLION in assets
AND 656.8 MILLION in cash and short term investments

Does any of this sound like ‘emerging growth?’

But there’s more:

Isis raised $173.3 MILLION in the last year alone by issuing new stock on Nasdaq. In order to do that they happily paid $9.5 MILLION in fees to investment banks.

AND yet a few thousand a year to report financials back to those same generous investors in a much more efficient, machine readable format is too much to ask?

Clearly, it doesn’t add up!

Incidentally, this research took a grand total of 5 minutes because of, you guessed it, the magic of XBRL.


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