On the Internet: Corporate Events and Activities
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Corporate Events and Activities
Corporate announcements can impact a stocks price dramaticallypositive announcements can boost the price and negative news can cause the price to fall. Frequent company announcements include earnings releases, stock splits, dividends, share buyback programs, and insider trading.
Wall Street analysts and investors make earnings predictions prior to earnings reporting season, a period each quarter when many companies tend to release their earnings. Companies that meet or exceed these expectations will usually see their stock price rise while those who fail to meet the predictions may see their stock price fall. [Sites devoted solely to earnings release data were the topic of the On the Internet column in the July/August 2006 issue of Computerized Investing.]
When a company decides to distribute additional shares of its stock, it is called a stock split. Alternatively, a reverse split takes place when a company reduces the number of shares of its stock. Neither type of split affects market capitalization because as the number of shares outstanding increases or decreases the stock price appropriately falls or rises. Overall, investors tend to react positively to stock splits and more negatively to reverse splits.
If a company wants to send a message to shareholders about their confidence in the stock, it may decide to buy back some of the stock. Usually this happens after a period of abnormal price decline when management believes the stock price is undervalued. Stock prices typically increase slightly on this announcement. On the other hand, a company can also announce a secondary offering of more stock, which will likely cause a decline in price.
Finally, insiders at the company buying and selling the companys stock can send signals of confidence or warn of possible trouble in the future. However, the act could also be a move to diversify a portfolio and be completely unrelated to managements future outlook. Below is a list of Web sites offering a range of data on corporate announcements and events.
In addition to market analysis, Briefing.com offers data on corporate actions and announcements. Some calendarsincluding the upgrade/downgrade and split calendarsare free, while the earnings calendar is available to subscribers only. (Although analyst upgrades and downgrades are not direct corporate actions, they are usually the result of a corporate announcement, such as an earnings announcement or earnings guidance.) The ratings calendar is updated continuously and lists the days upgrades and downgrades. Company name, ticker symbol, brokerage firm, ratings change and price target are shown in the table. You can read definitions of the ratings and search through the list by ticker symbol or brokerage firm.
The stock split calendar lists splits for the upcoming six months and shows the split factor, date payable, the ex-date (the date that the stock price is scheduled to adjust on the exchange) and the announcement date.
Paying subscribers can access an earnings calendar. You can view earnings announcements from the previous day, current day, current week and upcoming weeks. The table includes the estimates (and actual earnings once the data has been released) and any conference call links. Subscription cost is $9.95 per month; a free trial is available.
In addition to earnings data, Earnings.com has a comprehensive list of upcoming investment events including webcasts, investor conferences, initial public offerings, stock splits and dividends. All data is grouped by date. Earnings data includes an estimate, last years actual earnings and the date and time of the release. Dividend, stock split and IPO data shows relevant dates and ratios and pricing information. Clicking on a company name shows upcoming webcasts and a chart of old earnings release data. This site is free.
The Online Investor offers data on stock splits, analyst actions, earnings, mergers, buybacks and more. A splits calendar lists the company name and ticker, the split factor, announcement date, record date and the pay date. You can also view historical stock split data by clicking the red H next to the company name. A current list of analyst upgrades and downgrades is updated throughout the day and gives the brokerage firm, action and the new rating and price target.
A very simplistic list of earnings estimates is provided as well. The announcements are grouped by date and the list shows the estimate and the year-ago earnings. No data on the actual earnings is provided. Unique to this site is a list of mergers and acquisitions announced each day for the last three months. You can see the companies involved in the proposal as well as the deal terms.
A buybacks chart lists currently announced share buyback programs and includes the company name and ticker as well as the amount of the entire purchase program and additional terms of the deal. This site is free.
MarketWatch offers free earnings, stock split and conference call calendars in the Tools & Research section. The stock split calendar lists upcoming splits organized by split date. The ticker symbol (which links to in-depth company information), announcement date, split date and split ratio are shown for each company.
In the earnings calendar, upcoming earnings releases are grouped by date and then listed in alphabetical order. For each upcoming announcement, the table defines the quarter, shows the estimate and the prior years actual earnings, and lists the time of the release. Data on previous releases can be viewed as wellthis table includes a column showing the actual earnings for the period. The conference call calendar lists the days conference calls ordered by time and gives a short description of what can be expected from the call. When available, a link to listen to the call is provided. As with earnings releases, you can access a list of archived conference calls. The site also provides a daily list of upgraded and downgraded stocks that includes the brokerage firm, old and new ratings, price targets and explanations for the change.
MarketWatch also allows members to create free portfolios and sign up for E-mail alerts regarding the securities in their portfolios. You can set alerts using keywords including stock split, conference call, earnings release, share buyback, insider trading and more to receive updates when a company in your portfolio announces a corporate action. This site is free.
StockSplits.net offers E-mail alerts about stock splits. The site charges $97 per month for its flagship newsletter, which is issued five times per week. The Stock Split Report focuses on pre-announcements, where the site predicts potential splits prior to announcement, and gives subscribers thoughts on basing a trading strategy on the predictions.
You can register to receive an E-mail when significant companies announce a split and to receive the weekend version of the Stock Split Report; both options are free.
In addition to current new stories, charts, data and quotes for various securities, Yahoo! Finance offers pages dedicated to earnings announcements and stock splits. A list of links to various corporate events is found under the Todays Events heading in the Investing area. You can see a list of upcoming earnings releases, conference calls, economic data releases, initial public offerings, stock splits and upgrades and downgrades. Each list presents the data by day, week or month and offers links to more in-depth data on individual companies.
The earnings table lists the estimate, time of announcement and a link to listen to the conference call. Members of Yahoo! can also add releases to their calendars to be reminded of upcoming events. The split calendar shows the payable date, ex-date, the split factor and announcement date. Links to listen to conference calls are found in the conference call table, and calls are archived for almost a year. This site is free.