Earnings dates

During each quarter of the year, companies are required to release a summary of their earnings for the previous quarter. These numbers are usually distributed via press releases, which are quickly picked up by news wires and the financial press. Traders react to the resulting news. The press releases are usually followed an hour or two later by conference calls that feature members of the companies' management teams answering questions from industry analysts regarding the recently released earnings. These calls are important, because the outlook for the company is typically discussed in detail.

These earnings release dates are by far the most important four days of the year for many companies, and their stocks are usually at their most volatile just before and after the subsequent conference calls. At the very least, if you're interested in trading a particular stock, be aware of when the company is scheduled to release its next earnings report.

ÂżjjjMHEff In a charting capacity, seeing how the stock trades before and after earnings dates can be useful for trading decisions. For example, if a company generally trades higher going into its earnings release, buying a week before the earnings date and selling the day before may be a profitable strategy. Also, if a company usually reacts strongly to its earnings announcements (either good or bad), but seems to reverse this move a few days later, this can lead to a good short-term trading strategy. Either way, it should be clear that having earnings date info on the charts you use isn't a bad thing, and it can set you on the path to making a nice profit, if you can spot a usable pattern.

You can find numerous sources for earnings dates or earnings calendars on the Internet. The following are links to a few of the better (and free) ones:

1 Earnings calendar at Yahoo! Finance:

http://biz.yahoo.com/research/earncal/today.html

1 Marketwatch.com's earnings calendar:

www.marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/earnings.asp

1 Briefing.com's earnings calendar:

www.briefing.com/Investor/Private/Calendars/Earnings Calendar.htm

1 Earnings.com's calendar:

www.earnings.com

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