Whisper Number: Merck Hoping for Repeat of Last Quarter’s Price Move
Merck (NYSE:MRK) is expected to report earnings on Tuesday, July 30th. The whisper number is $0.82, one cent behind the analysts’ estimate. MRK has a 71 percent positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 29 of the 41 earnings reports for which we have data).
– Beat whisper: 29 quarters
– Met whisper: 1 quarters
– Missed whisper: 11 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 -0.3 percent comes within five trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number, and -2.2 percent within ten 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 and see weakness) and limited 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 three of the past four quarters. In the comparable quarter last year the company reported earnings five cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 3.0 percent gain in one trading day. Last quarter the company reported earnings two cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized an 8.5 percent gain in thirty 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