Whisper Number: How Will Staples Investors React to Earnings?

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) is expected to report earnings on Wednesday, November 20. The whisper number is $0.42, in-line with the analysts’ estimate. Whispers range from a low of $0.38 to a high of $0.44. Staples has a 43 percent positive surprise history, having topped the whisper in 20 of the 46 earnings reports for which we have data.

Earnings history:

- Beat whisper: 20 qtrs
– Met whisper: 5 qtrs
– Missed whisper: 21 qtrs

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.

SPLS1113A

The strongest price movement of +3.9 percent comes within thirty trading days when the company reports earnings that beat the whisper number, and -1.3 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.

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