Here at Wall Street Horizon, tracking corporate events is our business, so as you’d expect, we watch these things very closely.
That’s why we’ve been puzzled about something for years. Every time an earnings season rolls around, we see the same basic opener for news stories in the media: “Alcoa, the perennial lead-off company for the corporate earnings season, will announce after the bell…”
What bugs us is that it’s simply not true. For the past couple of years, in fact for 39 out of the last 42 quarters, Monsanto (NYSE: MON) has actually announced first. Alcoa doesn’t lead off; it actually has batted later in the order for a number of years.
Maybe the error is due to the ‘phone book’ effect. With their ticker symbol being AA, people naturally tend to list them first. Then the error gets repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.
Alcoa may eventually get its chance to move up to the leadoff spot and it may have taken the biggest M&A deal of 2016 to do it. Although, with Bayer’s recent sweetened takeover announcement of Monsanto, the new entity will most likely report more like Bayer AG (OTC: BAYRY) who typically reports much later in the first month of earnings season.