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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).
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1988), Educational and Vocational Guidance Services for the 14-25 Age-Group in the European Community: The Synthesis Report of A Study Carried Out on Behalf of the Commission of the European Communities, Maastricht: Presses Interuniversitaires Europeennes.
Davis had pioneered vocational guidance in the schools), the National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA) was founded, 5 years after Parsons's death.
though others in various centres in Australia had been trying to develop vocational guidance based on the dissemination of occupational information, only Martin's vocational guidance based on tests, on interview and individual counselling had reasonable success.
Contemporary forms of vocational guidance arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a partner to vocational education.
On the one hand, the Australian Psychological Society endorses vocational guidance as a psychological activity, but on the other hand, it has not been involved with significant developments in the field.
its evolution beginning from The Vocational Guidance News-Letter through
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education's academic and vocational guidance section held yesterday the academic guidance forum 2019 under the slogan "Upgrading and Raising the Quality of the Work of the Academic Guidance." The aim of the forum, held in partnership with City College in Doha, was to improve the work of the academic adviser and raise the quality of this field, in addition to presenting the work of the academic guidance department in some public schools participating in the forum.
The hub will cover employment, training, vocational guidance and insurance against unemployment, in addition to providing work opportunities in co-operation with Tamkeen.
Recognizing the importance of counseling and vocational guidance, the European Union allocates relevant financial resources in order to develop this type of activities within educational institutions.
Summary: The Centre for Vocational Guidance and Retraining (French: CORP), the result of cooperation between the GIZ employment fund in Tunisia and the Tunisian-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Tunisia)
In the 2nd stage (1993-1999), job allocation was replaced by vocational guidance as a service.
During the period 22 schools were visited by Regional Manager/ Manager, Vocational Guidance Office, Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkana, whereas 513 school talks were delivered to 1740 students regarding Vocational Guidance for their future career planning.

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