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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Find Release Dates of Earnings Reports

Source: Capital Pixel
The most important firm specific date is usually when earnings are released.  If you invest in individual stocks, you are interested in when the report is coming out and the expectations of the market.  A disappointing report or a surprisingly good report typically will move the price significantly.  Those who follow Apple stock closely know exactly what I mean.  When Apple reports, its stock moves sharply in after-hours trading.

So suppose we are interested in finding, for example, Pepsi's release date and analyst expectations.

For this, we turn to the "Earnings Calendar" available at most major financial sites.  We'll use the Yahoo! site.  At the site, just type in the ticker, PEP, to find the release date of February 6, as shown:

Source: Thompson Financial Network

 CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE  Note the other useful items available, especially the conference call link.  At this link, you can listen to the last conference call.  If you stay on until the end, you usually can hear questions from analysts and the company's response.  To me, this is one of the best ways to identify issues with a company.  For example, analysts will want to know why sales in South America are down slightly or, if it's the Apple conference call, why phone sales were below expectations.  Questions will come up about the all-important revenue projections, etc.

Scrolling down the list for earnings releases for February 6 brings you to:

Source: Thompson Financial Network
 CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE  As you can see, analysts expect Pepsi to earn $1.14/share for the quarter.  Also note that you can add the event to a Yahoo! calendar, so it is easy to track a portfolio of stocks.  Clicking on the PEP link and then on "analyst estimates" (on the left-hand side after scrolling down) will give you even more info on earnings history and expectations--including the all-important number of analyst who are providing estimates.

Disclosure:  I agree with Warren Buffett et al. that most investors will be better off by buying well-diversified low-cost index funds tailored to an asset allocation model.  This information is for those who find buying a few stocks an enjoyable and challenging undertaking.

1 comment:

  1. Even if you do index, it is a good learning experience to listen to these calls. I find it extremely useful to research stocks that I'm not too familiar with but don't want to go by what CNBC says!

    I love the small tip nuggets you keep dropping in your posts!