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MAIN Projection Drops Again On Wednesday

The projections BEFORE the earnings release from Thursday - with the last column being 2015 projections:

Earnings Est Current Qtr.
Dec 14
Next Qtr.
Mar 15
Current Year
Dec 14
Next Year
Dec 15
Avg. Estimate 0.58 0.58 2.18 2.39
No. of Analysts 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.00
Low Estimate 0.56 0.55 2.17 2.30
High Estimate 0.59 0.61 2.20 2.61
Year Ago EPS 0.57 0.52 2.06 2.18

The projections Monday morning - 2015 is now in the second to last column:

Earnings Est Current Qtr.
Mar 15
Next Qtr.
Jun 15
Current Year
Dec 15
Next Year
Dec 16
Avg. Estimate 0.56 0.58 2.36 2.47
No. of Analysts 8.00 8.00 8.00 4.00
Low Estimate 0.51 0.54 2.18 2.29
High Estimate 0.61 0.61 2.61 2.65
Year Ago EPS 0.52 0.53 2.20 2.36

The projections On Tuesday morning:

Earnings Est Current Qtr.
Mar 15
Next Qtr.
Jun 15
Current Year
Dec 15
Next Year
Dec 16
Avg. Estimate 0.55 0.57 2.34 2.46
No. of Analysts 8.00 8.00 8.00 5.00
Low Estimate 0.50 0.54 2.18 2.29
High Estimate 0.61 0.60 2.46 2.65
Year Ago EPS 0.52 0.53 2.20 2.34

The projections on Wednesday morning:

Earnings Est Current Qtr.
Mar 15
Next Qtr.
Jun 15
Current Year
Dec 15
Next Year
Dec 16
Avg. Estimate 0.54 0.57 2.33 2.44
No. of Analysts 8.00 8.00 8.00 5.00
Low Estimate 0.50 0.54 2.18 2.29
High Estimate 0.61 0.60 2.46 2.65
Year Ago EPS 0.52 0.53 2.20 2.33

I would expect that a penny drop in the projection has the appearance of being no big deal. But for the consensus to drop a penny, one of the eight analysts has to drop the projection by eight cents if the change was caused by a change coming from only one analyst. But we have no idea how many changes caused the drop in the projection.

On Tuesday, the high estimate dropped by 15 cents. So the two cent drop in the consensus projection was possibly caused by a drop in only one projection - the formerly 'high' projection. But . . when the formerly 'high projection' falls, the formerly 'second highest' projection could become the new 'high' projection. So -- the formerly high projection could have dropped more than 15 cents.

I did a similar kind of projection tracking in the comment section of a recent article on TCAP - and the big changes in the earnings projection happened in the first week. The fall in the target prices were slower.

Disclosure: The author is long MAIN.