Whisper Number: What Will NetApp’s Shares Do Post Earnings?

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) is expected to report earnings on Wednesday, August 14th. The whisper number is $0.50, one cent ahead of the analysts’ estimate. Whispers range from a low of $0.47 to a high of $0.54. NTAP has a 62 percent positive surprise history (having topped the whisper in 33 of the 53 earnings reports for which we have data).

Earnings history:

– Beat whisper: 33 quarters
– Met whisper: 3 quarters
– Missed whisper: 17 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:

NTAP813A

The strongest price movement of +6.4 percent comes within twenty trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number, and -9.3 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 exception comes within ten trading days when the company misses the whisper and the average price reaction is positive.

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

NTAP813B

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 four cents ahead of the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 0.7 percent gain in five trading days. Last quarter the company reported earnings in-line with the whisper number. Following that report the stock realized a 4.1 percent loss in ten trading days.  Overall historical data indicates the company to be (on average) an ‘as expected’ 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.