Earnings - Estimates, Guidance, Call Transcripts

What are Earnings Calls?

Earnings calls, also known as conference calls,  are presentations by a company's top management, usually the CEO and CFO, to financial analysts, institutional investors and interested shareholders. The presentation by the CEO and CFO is followed by a question-and-answer session that allows analysts to gain additional information.

Most conference calls are conducted immediately after the company releases its financial results in a press release or an 8-K filing with the SEC.  The most recent webcasts or audio of the earnings calls are posted on the company's website, usually on the Investor Relations page. Companies offer free e-mail alerts so that interested investors are notified when new calls are available.

What to Look For in an Earnings Call

What you find in the conference call is insight from management.  The CEO and CFO will offer details about the company's financial performance and discuss the factors influencing those results. They will give their appraisal of current industry trends and often outline the company’s response to these conditions with short- and long-term strategies.

For a fuller explanation into why you should listen to a company's earnings conference call read this article from the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism:

"Surviving Earnings Season: Tips to Get Out Ahead." Posted February 27, 2012 at BusinessJournalism.org. Web.

Why Earnings Calls? Regulation FD

Regulation Fair Disclosure was adopted in August 2000 in direct response to the scandals involving analysts at several prominent Wall Street firms. FD was an attempt to ensure that small investors received the same information that went to analysts, brokers and institutional investors. Under Regulation FD companies were required to:

  • Disclose all material non-public information to all investors at the same time
  • Refrain from selective disclosure to analysts or institutional investors

Read the full text of Regulation FD in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Where to Find Earnings Calls

Many companies use their websites to broadcast their earnings calls. You can sign up for upcoming events, listen to an audio broadcast or view the webcast, review presentation slides, or read the conference call transcripts. 

Look for the earnings calls on the company's Investor Relations pages. If you don't find them there, use one of the databases listed in this guide.

FD (Fair Dislosure) Wires

Seeking Alpha

The Seeking Alpha Earnings Center website offers free earnings call transcripts for over 4,500 public companies.Transcripts are uploaded the same day - usually within six hours. You can search for transcripts by company name, ticker or industry sector. You can also search all transcripts for a keyword or phrase and retrieve links to all transcripts with that word or phrase.

S&P Capital IQ

S&P Capital IQ provides earnings call transcripts for thousands of companies globally. Search by company and under "News, Events & Filings" you will find a link to "Transcripts."

Capital IQ offers more than just Earnings Calls.  It includes transcripts of Company Conference Presentations, M&A Calls, Guidance Updates, and Shareholder/Analyst Calls (the annual meeting transcript). Calls are available in audio, word and PDF format.  Any presentation slides are included. Coverage begins with the year 2006. Multiple reports can be downloaded in a Zip file.

Search by keywords in the transcript, the presentation, the list of participants, and the Q&A.

S&P Capital IQ is available in the Subotnick Financial Services Center or by remote access from Newman Library.