by CI Staff
Company share prices are based on a slew of information. Projected future earnings, perceived risk and competitiveness, and even investor perception and fear can all play a role in the price of a firm’s stock.
This article provides you with websites that track corporate announcements so that you can gather the information easier.
Types of Corporate Announcements
Wall Street analysts provide earnings estimates that are widely used by investors. These earnings estimates are projections of company earnings going forward. Investors often use these figures to calculate a stock’s fair value, which is used to determine whether a stock is undervalued or overvalued. This process means that a company’s share price will be punished if the company’s actual earnings miss its consensus earnings estimate. Likewise, share prices typically react favorably when earnings beat the consensus estimate.
A stock split refers to a decision by a company to divide its existing shares. For example, a two-for-one stock split means for each share an investor owns, he will receive two shares. The price is adjusted to half of the pre-split price so that the market capitalization does not change. Alternatively, a reverse stock split takes place when a company decides to reduce the number of shares outstanding. Investors generally see a stock split as a positive sign since it typically occurs as share price increases, whereas a reverse stock split is seen in a negative light, as it typically occurs when share price is declining.
Companies may also increase or decrease their shares outstanding by announcing a secondary offering of shares or by buying back their stock. Typically, firms buy back stock with cash on hand, but if a company believes its stock is significantly undervalued, it may even take on debt to purchase shares back. Share buybacks are usually seen as a sign of strength—an indication that a firm believes its share price is undervalued. An offering of additional shares, on the other hand, may have an adverse impact since management tries not to offer additional shares when its share price is undervalued. In addition, releasing additional shares has a dilutive effect.
Companies that have an announcement to make typically schedule a conference call for major analysts who follow the firm. These conference calls are valuable for individual investors, as they may offer more specific management forecasts. Conference calls can also be planned for major company products releases or to announce strategic decisions.
Company insiders such as management and directors may purchase or sell shares. Some investors like to keep an eye on these transactions for a hint as to how insiders feel about company shares. Strong insider buying can signal that shares are undervalued.
Lastly, although analyst upgrades and downgrades are not actual company announcements, they have the ability to drastically change the price of a company’s stock. Many of the same analysts that provide earnings estimates may provide a fair value estimate for a company’s shares and a share rating, such as buy or sell. Changes in these ratings, especially by large, highly followed analysts often precede large changes in company share price.
Briefing.com reports on a number of corporation announcements including analyst upgrades and downgrades, stock splits, earnings and conference calls. To navigate to this area, hover your mouse over Calendars at the top of the page and select the appropriate section.
Earnings information is presented shortly after the company releases it to the public. In addition to the company name, ticker and earnings announcement, the website also lists the consensus earnings estimate, the earnings announcement one-year ago and the year-over-year revenue growth. At the top right of the earnings page, a link to the earnings archives is provided for registered users. In addition, upcoming earnings release dates and consensus estimates are also offered.
Live and recorded conference calls are available at the site for registered users.
The analyst upgrades and downgrades section presents the brokerage firm, rating change and target price change (Figure 1).
Corporate announcements and conference calls are offered at Briefing.com free of charge.
Earnings.com, as the name implies, focuses on company earnings information, providing the actual earnings announcement as well as the consensus earnings estimate and the previous year’s earnings (Figure 2). Projected earnings dates are reported as well as earnings releases going back seven months.
Earnings.com also provides stock split information. Live company conference calls can be accessed through the site by registering. Earnings, splits and calls can be viewed in calendar format as well as on separate tabs.
Announcements and live conference calls are free at the site. In addition, company webcasts and transcripts of past conference calls can be ordered for a fee.
MarketWatch.com offers calendars for earnings, conference calls and splits free of charge in the Tools area. To navigate to this section, hover your mouse over the Investing tab at the top and click on More in the Tools section.
The earnings calendar provides separate entries for confirmed releases and proposed releases. Confirmed release dates are usually set, unless a company changes it due to an unforeseen situation. Proposed release dates are generally projected for about three months after the current earnings announcement and are subject to change. The conference call calendar shows the time and company as well as a short description of what can be expected to be covered (Figure 3). A link to the call is provided if available. Archived earnings releases and conference calls are also available. Finally, MarketWatch.com provides a daily list of upgraded and downgraded stocks, including changes in target prices. The website also offers a quick explanation of the ratings change.
As one of Computerized Investing’s top comprehensive websites, MarketWatch.com also provides other features. One of them is the ability to track your portfolio. If you have a portfolio set up with MarketWatch.com, the site allows you to sign up for email alerts for securities in your portfolio. Alerts for stock splits, conference calls and earnings, share buybacks and insider trading will be sent directly to your email.