Whisper Number: How Will Capital One Investors React to Earnings?

Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) is expected to report earnings on Thursday, July 17. The whisper number is $1.79, three cents behind the analysts’ estimate and showing no confidence from investors. Capital One has a 67 percent positive surprise history, having topped the whisper in 24 of the 36 earnings reports for which we have data.

Earnings history:

– Beat whisper: 24 qtrs
– Met whisper: 0 qtrs
– Missed whisper: 12 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 thirty trading day timeframe:

COF714A

The strongest price movement of +1.4 percent comes within thirty trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number, and -3.1 percent within thirty trading days when the company reports earnings that miss the whisper number. The overall average price move is ‘as expected’ (beat the whisper number and see strength, miss and see weakness) when the company reports earnings.

The table below indicates the most recent earnings reports and short-term price reaction:

COF714B

The company has reported earnings ahead of the whisper number in three of the past four quarters with a whisper number. In the comparable quarter last year, the company reported earnings sixteen cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report, the stock realized a 1 percent loss in five trading days. Last quarter, the company reported earnings twenty-four cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report, the stock realized a 3.5 percent loss in ten trading days. Overall historical data indicates the company to be (on average within thirty trading days) an ‘as expected’ price reactor when the company reports earnings.

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This week’s highlights:

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM): Reported earnings of $0.73, in-line with $0.73 whisper number (analysts had $0.74)

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): Reported earnings of $0.55, in-line with $0.55 whisper number (analysts had $0.52)

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO): Reported earnings of $0.37, in-line with $0.37 whisper number (analysts had $0.38)

CSX (NYSE:CSX): Reported earnings of $0.53, in-line with $0.53 whisper number (analysts had $0.52)

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS): Reported earnings of $4.10, topping $3.14 whisper number (analysts had $3.05)

Citigroup (NYSE:C): Reported earnings of $1.24, topping $1.13 whisper number (analysts had $1.06)

John Scherr is the founder and President of WhisperNumber.com, an independent financial research firm focused on earnings expectations. He is a regular contributor to CNBC and Fox Business Network, and has been featured in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and MarketWatch. He is considered a leading expert on ‘whisper numbers’ and post earnings price movement analysis. WhisperNumber.com provides specific earnings trade alerts to take advantage of earnings report price movement with their Whisper Reactors subscription service.

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