Whisper Number: How Will Priceline Investors React to Earnings?

Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) is expected to report earnings on Thursday. The whisper number is $16.45, 30 cents ahead of the analysts’ estimate. PCLN has a 65 percent positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 24 of the 37 earnings reports for which we have data).

Earnings history:

– Beat whisper: 24 qtrs
– Met whisper: 0 qtrs
– Missed whisper: 13 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 look at 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:

PCLN1113A

The strongest price movement of -4.3 percent comes within 20 trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number and -12.4 percent within 20 trading days when the company reports earnings that miss the whisper number. The overall average price move is “negative” (beat the whisper number and see weakness, miss and see weakness) when the company reports earnings.

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

PCLN1113B

The company has reported earnings ahead of the whisper number in four of the past four quarters with a whisper number. In the comparable quarter last year, the company reported earnings 70 cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 2.7 percent loss in five trading days. Last quarter, the company reported earnings 42 cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 6 percent loss in 10 trading days. Overall historical data indicate the company to be (on average) a “negative” price reactor when the company reports earnings.

Enter your expectation and view more earnings information here, or let us know your expectation in the comments section below.

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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