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It is increasingly important for firms to meet or exceed analysts' consensus earnings forecasts. Often management will give guidance or hints of the earnings per share prospects over the next quarter or next year to try to direct the consensus to what is achievable. For example, it is possible that the consensus is well above management's internal forecasts. Management will try to guide the consensus downwards so that when the earnings are released the negative surprise is minimized. Under Regulation FD, management needs to be very careful to provide guidance information to all shareholders -- not just a select group of analysts. This is often achieved in investor presentations (that are often webcast) or conference calls (where anyone is allowed to dial in).


An announcement, often over a conference call, by a publicly-traded company of its projected earnings for a quarter or year. Guidance gives investors and analysts a basis from which to make their investment decisions and recommendations. Guidance also helps the company price out any potential good or bad news so its share price is not subject to wild fluctuations when the earnings are actually announced. Guidance is also called earnings guidance.


Guidance, or earnings guidance, occurs when the executives of a publicly traded corporation estimate projected earnings in an open conference call or Web cast before its quarterly earnings are released.

Goals for providing guidance include underplaying expectations to avoid negative surprises, serving as a counterpoint to stock analysts' consensus estimates, reducing stock price volatility when actual results are announced, and potentially shifting investor focus from short-term results to long-term perspectives.

Corporations also provide guidance to the investing community as a whole because they are prohibited by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule FD (for Fair Disclosure) from providing important and previously nonpublic information selectively, as they did before the rule was enacted in 2000.

Those who advocate providing this type of guidance argue that the more information investors have the better. Detractors say guidance doesn't reduce volatility or achieve other goals.

References in periodicals archive ?
Between Phase 1 and Phase 2 there was an increase in documentation of four quality measures, though none showed a significant increase: anticipatory guidance, BMI, use of M-CHAT, and lead screening.
Overall, the project used parent mentoring to provide parents with anticipatory guidance in child health and development.
At the time of the interviews, the clinic was not participating in a literacy education program, and no special emphasis was placed on anticipatory guidance to encourage learning.
Completeness of documentation was calculated for the entire examination and separately for each subdomain of the health supervision visit: Growth & Development, Physical Examination, Anticipatory Guidance, Health Counseling, Nutrition Counseling, Safety Counseling, and Psychosocial/Behavioral Counseling.
It is central to communication, counseling, and anticipatory guidance.
Providing these preventive oral health care services in pediatricians' and family physicians' offices, along with anticipatory guidance, caregiver education, caries risk assessment and referrals, would encourage the development of proper oral health and eating habits within a family.
All of us recommend it, but we do so with a caveat: Education and anticipatory guidance for the family, the child, teachers, and peers is the critical intervention, and it's often sufficient," said Dr.
Even if a specific cause of the POF cannot be identified, knowledge of her increased risk for early menopause could be invaluable for anticipatory guidance and family planning.
The conference will review obesity rates among our youngest children in America; examine feeding patterns which have contributed to increased incidence; examine activity levels that promote health; teach participants how to use and interpret BMI for children 2 years of age and older; and, introduce age appropriate anticipatory guidance and messages, in an effort to establish sound nutrition and activity advice.