Whisper Number: How Will Southwest Airlines Fly?
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is expected to report earnings on Thursday, July 25th. The whisper number is $0.38, in-line with the analysts’ estimate. LUV has a 67 percent positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 26 of the 39 earnings reports for which we have data).
– Beat whisper: 26 quarters
– Met whisper: 1 quarters
– Missed whisper: 12 quarters
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 thirty trading day timeframe:
The strongest price movement of -1.5 percent comes within thirty trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number, and -3.5 percent within thirty trading days when the company reports earnings that miss the whisper number. The overall average price move is ‘negative’ (beat the whisper and see weakness, miss the whisper and see weakness) when the company reports earnings.
The table below indicates the most recent earnings reports and short-term price reaction:
The company has reported earnings ahead of the whisper number in two of the past four quarters. In the comparable quarter last year the company reported earnings three cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 13.6 percent loss in five trading days. Last quarter the company reported earnings three cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 5.9 percent gain in twenty trading days. Overall historical data indicates the company to be (on average) a ‘negative’ price reactor when the company reports earnings.
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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.