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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 ?
83) closely correspond to suggested patterns for comprehensive developmental guidance (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).
Developmental guidance gives specific importance to self-concept formation (Myrick 2003).
The general career goal that is outlined in comprehensive developmental guidance programs for the elementary school student is gaining career awareness (Zunker, 2002).
The results of the present study also suggest that focusing on the full implementation of career and technical education programs (Perkins programs) within the context of comprehensive developmental guidance is associated with positive outcomes for students.
Future research should focus on obtaining information from teachers across the nation related to counseling program effectiveness and suggestions on how to optimize collaboration among educational professionals to better promote and implement comprehensive developmental guidance models.
These activities are intended to promote competence in students' attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and skills, which are all part of a comprehensive developmental guidance program.
Perhaps some of the expanded career development programs of the 1970s and 1980s need to be updated and implemented by teachers, counselors, and parents in developmental guidance programs.
Like the Comprehensive Developmental Guidance Program (Gysbers & Henderson, 2000) movement begun in the 1970s, it repositions the school counselor away from an ancillary role in helping a few students to an integral role in education.
In the late 1990s the Texas Education Agency advocated the transformation of all counseling services into developmental guidance programs.
They can also help school and community member's view conflict violence, drug abuse and other at-risk behaviors from a developmental guidance perspective, thereby insuring that prevention and crisis intervention components are considered.
The strategies that were articulated by the school counselors include (a) recognition, (b) relationship building, (c) developmental guidance, (d) visibility, (e) evaluation and needs assessment, (f) program/activity facilitation, and (g) problem-solving techniques.
Needed: A new look at developmental guidance and counseling.

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