Whisper Number: What Will J.C. Penney’s Shares Do Post-Earnings?

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) is expected to report earnings on Thursday. The whisper number is -$1.21, 4 cents ahead of the analysts’ estimate and showing some confidence from investors. Whispers range from a low of -$1.25 to a high of -$1.15. J.C. Penney has a 72 percent positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 28 of the 39 earnings reports for which we have data).

Earnings history:

  • Beat whisper: 28 qtrs
  • Met whisper: 1 qtrs
  • Missed whisper: 10 qtrs

Our primary focus is on post-earnings price movement. Knowing how likely a stock’s price will move following an earnings report can help you determine the best action to take (long or short). In other words, we analyze what happens when the company beats or misses the whisper number expectation.

The table below indicates the average post earnings price movement within a one and 30 trading day timeframe:

The strongest price movement of +1.8 percent comes within 30 trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number and +3.3 percent within 20 trading days when the company reports earnings that miss the whisper number. While the strongest price moves are positive, the overall average price move is “opposite” (beat the whisper number and see weakness, miss and see strength) when the company reports earnings.