According to WhisperNumber.com:
*Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) (reports today, after market close)
Microsoft whisper number is $0.59, one cent ahead of analyst estimates.
Last quarter Microsoft reported earnings five cents ahead of the whisper number. However, the stock saw a limited but negative price reaction in after hours trading, and moved lower by about 7% through 10 trading days. Immediate average intra-day price movement has been negative (limited).
Microsoft has topped the whisper number in four out of the past four earnings reports.
Intel has a 57% positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 29 of the 51 earnings reports for which we have data).
*Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) (reports Friday, before market open)
Caterpillar whisper number is $1.82, seven cents ahead of analyst estimates.
Caterpillar has topped the whisper number in the past four quarters by an average of 27 cents. But if you took a long position prior to the past four earnings reports you were on the right side of the trade in only one out of four trades (within one trading day).
When analyzing the data we collect, the most important aspects are how a company reacts to beating or missing the whisper number, the average post earnings price movement, and in what timeframe (see link in profile to receive alerts). Keep in mind that trading on whispers is a technical play on market psychology, rather than a bet on a company's fundamental strengths.
A company's "reaction" to 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.
Caterpillar has a 67% positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 22 of the 33 earnings reports for which we have data).
*General Electric (NYSE:GE) (reports Friday, before market open)
GE whisper number is $0.33, one cent ahead of analyst estimates.
If GE tops the whisper number, the best trading timeframe is within 10 trading days from earnings. The company has seen positive price movement of 1.2% (on average) in 10 trading days for the 14 quarters it has topped the whisper number. When missing the whisper number (29 quarters), the company has seen negative price movement of 2.0% (on average) in 30 trading days.
GE has a 31% positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in only 14 of the 45 earnings reports for which we have data).
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.