whisper number


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Whisper Number or Forecast

An informal forecast of a publicly-traded company's earnings per share. One arrives at the whisper number by a combination of past performance, perceived optimism by company officials, and just plain rumor. The whisper number can be useful, as it is occasionally more accurate than official forecasts. However, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act restricts the availability of some information that previously contributed to the whisper number, making it more difficult for some investors to determine. See also: Price out.

whisper number

An unofficial estimate of a financial variable (generally, earnings or revenues) that will be reported by a corporation. A whisper number may be different from published estimates by financial analysts or earnings guidance provided by corporate management.
Case Study Whisper numbers frequently proved a major factor in moving stock prices during the stock market boom of the late 1990s. A corporate earnings announcement that met consensus estimates by analysts but fell short of the whisper number often resulted in a major price decline in the price of the firm's stock. Likewise, an earnings announcement that exceeded the whisper number could push a stock price higher. Whisper numbers often originated in Internet chat rooms, where individual investors shared rumored information with fellow investors. These rumors were occasionally believed to have corporate insiders as a source. In particular, investors were searching for companies that were likely to report earnings that were higher or lower than expected by Wall Street analysts. Whisper numbers lost their clout following the 2001 implementation of Regulation Fair Disclose, which prohibited companies from making selective disclosures.

Whisper number.

A whisper number is an unofficial earnings estimate for a particular company that a stock analyst shares with clients to supplement the official published estimate.

If the company reports earnings in line with the official estimate when the whisper number has been higher, the stock price may fall anyway since investors were expecting something better.

The same is true in reverse. If earnings fall short of official expectations but meet a lower whisper number, the stock price may go up.

References in periodicals archive ?
A year ago, the technology company was acquired by private equity group Summit Partners for an undisclosed sum, though the Wall Street whisper number was $390 million.
On a call with investors last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said the "whisper number" on Wall Street was for deliveries to reach the mid to upper 70,000-unit range.
payrolls "whisper number" is being circulated ahead of tomorrow's key September jobs report by Zero Hedge, though this may well have been a factor behind yesterday's yield blowout, along with ADP and Fed's Powell mulling a move past neutral on rates.
Disney has the best-managed, most profitable movie studio in Hollywood (Fox was the worst, hence the cost synergies!) True, The Last Jedi missed its whisper number but Thor and Pixar's Coco will mint box office gold.
A number of studies have shown that the movement of a stock's price when earnings are announced is more dependent on beating or missing the whisper number than announced earnings.
OBAMA'S 'WHISPER NUMBER' (The Wall Street Journal, New York)
The figure also beat the "whisper number" of $5 per share that some analysts and investors were expecting.
An auction of $35B 2-year notes takes place later today (13:00 ET), but the next big catalyst for bonds is likely to be the Q2 GDP print Friday morning - Consensus is calling for growth of 4.2%, but the whisper number is north of 5%.
General Electric: The analysts' EPS is 37 cents, while the whisper number is 35 cents.
Others industry-watchers were saying Neon's $0.08 per share missed the whisper number by several cents or that it hadn't continued with the big earnings surprises of recent quarters.
The entire history of guidance and so-called whisper numbers reflects this short-term emphasis, as opposed to managing a company to thrive over the long-term.
For more from Tom Nawrocki, see: Listening to the Whisper Numbers Rise of the Mega-Caps Problems in the Fund Business