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The Power (and Alpha) in Earnings Announcements

Thu April 23, 2015

If you are an investor and you are not incorporating earnings dates and revisions into your strategies, you are missing out on potential alpha or exposing yourself to the downside of a poorly performing stock.

Everyone would agree that information drives movement in stock prices. Those who are able to detect trading signals in the overall flow of corporate data — beyond the data everyone is looking at — hold a decisive advantage over those who do not. The additional data to discern includes a public corporation’s scheduling and revision of an earnings announcement.

Related: “There’s Alpha in Corporate Event Timing – You Just Need to Spot the ‘Tells’

Professor Joshua Livnat, New York University, and Assistant Professor Li Zhang, Rutgers Business School, have released a study entitled, “Is There News in the Timing of Earnings Announcements?” The authors find that the mere announcement of a scheduled earnings release date itself can be associated with significant abnormal returns if it either advances or delays the earnings announcement relative to prior expectations.

Their research focuses on firms that advance or delay their earnings announcements by four or more trading days from the expected earnings release date. Identifying and tracking these expected dates requires an expertise in a company’s history – thus the need for extensive, archived and time-stamped data. Additionally, the sourcing of such data requires a highly accurate and timely methodology. Wall Street Horizon worked with the researchers to provide such data and help them meet these criterion.

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