What Is the Whisper Number in Investing?
The whisper number, in theory, is the unofficial earnings number most investors honestly expect the company to report. Whisper numbers gain even more prominence during strong bull markets when investors’ expectations begin to soar. Whisper numbers were particularly popular during the dot-com stock boom, which even today, is one of the most overinflated markets investors have ever seen.
Many analysts put their MBAs to good use and pick apart the financial statements of companies to determine how much the stocks are truly worth. But, some analysts take the lazy way out by blindly following the forecast given to them by the company.
This presents a problem for online investors because companies can steer some analysts to lower their expectations for growth. And if the company is successful in lowering the earnings bar, it’s easier for the company to beat the results. The opposite can happen, too. A company might convince analysts to go along with an overly optimistic view of the future, setting investors up for a disappointment.
You can get whisper numbers for free online. WhisperNumber.com is an easy way to see what the whisper number might be. Just enter the symbol of the stock you’re interested in and click the Go button, and you can view the whisper number for the current quarter.
You can also look up the whisper number for the previous quarter and see how close it was to the actual number reported by the company. Lastly, you can see how the stock reacted in 1, 5, 10, and 30 days following the company’s last earnings announcement. The site is free, but you must register.