CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) is expected to report earnings after the close on Wednesday, May 8. The whisper number is $0.55, 14 cents behind analysts' estimate. CTL has a 92% positive surprise history, having topped the whisper number in 33 of the 36 earnings reports for which we have data.
- Beat whisper: 33 quarters
- Met whisper: 0 quarters
- Missed whisper: 3 quarters
Our primary focus is on post-earnings price movement. Knowing how likely a stock's price will move following an earnings report can help you determine the best action to take (long or short). In other words, we look at what happens when the company beats or misses the whisper number expectation.
The table below indicates the average post-earnings price movement within a one- and 30-trading-day time frame:
Click to enlarge images.
The strongest price movement of +2.7% comes within 30 trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number, and -8.4% within 20 trading days when the company reports earnings that miss the whisper number. The overall average price movement is as expected through 30 trading days when the company reports earnings.
The table below indicates the most recent earnings reports and short-term price reaction:
In the comparable quarter last year the company reported earnings eight cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 1.4% loss in five trading days. Last quarter the company reported earnings 11 cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized an 18.5% loss in after-hours trading, and dropped an additional 4.9% in one trading day. Overall historical data indicates the company to be (on average) an as expected price reactor (beat the whisper number and see strength, miss and see weakness) through 30 trading days when the company reports earnings.
Enter your expectations and view more earnings information here, or let us know your expectations in the comments section below. Since 1998, WhisperNumber.com has been tracking and publishing "crowd sourced estimates" for earnings. We call these earnings expectations whisper numbers. Our whisper numbers are gained from individual investors and traders just like you who have registered with our site. While the whisper number itself is an important part of our analysis, a company's "price reaction" to beating or missing the whisper number expectation is the key. On average, companies that exceed the whisper are "rewarded," while companies that miss are "punished" following an earnings report. Trading on whispers is a technical play on market psychology, rather than a bet on a company's fundamental strengths.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.