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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 ?
All these represent the very purpose of vocational guidance and counseling programs, but to be achieved, these programs must be designed according to certain requirements.
Therefore, vocational guidance centers were founded and developed at colleges during this period.
According to Brozek and Hoskovec (1998), the most widely known Czech publication on vocational guidance was Correct Choice of Occupation (as cited in Brozek & Hoskovec, 1998, p.
In the current competitive reality of the work world, the degree of efficacy of Vocational Guidance may be a decisive factor in the possibilities of success or professional frustration.
When providing the state service for vocational guidance, various directions, forms and methods of work are used: individual and group counseling, diagnosis of professional and personal characteristics, advising on the choice of a profession before sending for vocational training.
A form of guidance is vocational guidance which is a system of principles, methods and processes to guide a person to a profession or group of professions according, on the one hand, to their skills, inclinations and interests and, on the other hand, depending on labor market prospects.
She added that the Ministry, through cooperation with International Labor Organization (ILO) seeks to provide different models to achieve better vocational guidance policies.
Historians of career counseling have identified 1913 as the launch date, corresponding to the founding of the National Vocational Guidance Association (renamed the National Career Development Association in 1985 [NCDA; Brewer, 1942; Pope, 2000]) and have attributed that founding to a small group of disaffected social workers who realized that case management, the traditional focus of that Held, was simply not enough.
He added that teams of specialists in the HEAC, the Directorate General of Scholarships, in coordination with the National Centre for Vocational Guidance at the Ministry of Education, will conduct in April workshops for vocational guidance specialists in all governorates.
Counseling as a unique and distinct area within psychology first emerged in the 1940s to respond to career and vocational guidance needs.

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