If you have been reading this blog for the past month or so, or are well versed in the academic research on the subject, you would know that there is some science (and some art) around when companies will release their quarterly earnings.
Ed deHaan (Stanford University) concluded in his research Market (In)Attention and Earnings Announcement Timing that companies strategically reported bad news during times when they 'expect' that attention is limited, and conversely, reported good news in periods of higher attention. He also went on to prove that there is lower attention after market hours than either before or during market hours and that market attention is lower on busy reporting days. Contrary to popular belief however, he found that attention was the same or higher on Fridays than other days of the week and thus it would be unlikely that companies could effectively hide bad news by reporting immediately prior to the weekend.
What has come to my attention over the past several weeks however, is that investor relations officers (IROs) are equally as interested in trying to figure out the optimal time to host their earnings conference call. And to schedule both their earnings release and conference call to avoid (or not) the corresponding events for their competitors/peers. My interpretation of this is that IROs are as sensitive to the attention they will get from a select group of institutions and analysts that follow their company (and therefore also follow their competitors/peers) as they are to the attention they may get from the broader market.
So while I would be more than happy to assist any IRO in their effort to schedule their year-end reporting events around their competitors/peers, the best I can do in this blog post is to give you some guidance as to when all companies are likely to report and host their calls based on when they reported in 2015. Forecasts and actuals for this coming earnings cycle are of course also available . . . but you will have to contact me directly for that as well!
So before we get to our Top 10 List . . . here is what the Q1 2016 earnings cycle might look like, based on the 2015 actuals:
And now for the moment you have been waiting for . . . the Top 5 Best (or worst) Days/Times in 2016 to release your year-end earnings and host your conference call . . . of course this will all depend on whether you are looking to avoid attention, or attract it!