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Timing a high impact earnings release

16/01/2017

Investors and analysts are gearing up for earnings season which in Europe runs late-January to mid-March, and in the US mid-January to mid-February. If you want to stand out from the crowd, release on a Monday or Friday. If you want to hide – Thursday is your day.

The chart above from the GS corporate access team shows the distribution of European reporting dates for larger companies through the earnings season. There’s a preference for reporting in the middle of the week which means you can stand out more by publishing on a Monday or Friday, though analysts having to write a result note on a Friday night might not thank you! You can also stand out by publishing early. There’s a lull in mid-February but that is almost certainly driven by school holidays at that time, so not a good time to report given many investors may be taking a vacation.

In the US tech sector, few self respecting listed companies would want to still be working on their results release by February. True, their quarterly releases are much less dense than the typical half-year report from a British PLC, but neither are formally audited and getting your results out early is a strong signal that you are a well managed business.

Smaller companies that frequently wait until March to report results should take note. Most big companies are done by the end of February. In fact in the US, by mid February the stock market has already moved from results season to conference season. Companies still reporting at that time look odd.

Oakhall was established by top-rated equity research analysts to help CEOs and CFOs better analyse their own business and strategies, and articulate them to stakeholders. Founder Andrew Griffin spent almost two decades as a technology equity analyst, ultimately as managing director of European technology equity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, before working in investor relations, corporate development and market intelligence for a UK listed software company.