When is earnings season?

By Chad Langager AAA
A:

Earnings season is the period of time during which a large number of publicly traded companies release their quarterly earning reports. In general, each earnings season begins one or two weeks after the last month of each quarter (December, March, June and September). In other words, look for the majority of public companies to release their earnings in early to mid January, April, July and October. It is important to note that not all companies report during earnings season because the exact date of an earnings release depends on when the given company's quarter ends. As such, it is not uncommon to find companies reporting earnings between earnings seasons.

The unofficial kickoff to earnings season is the release of earnings by Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is a major aluminum producer and Dow Jones Industrial Average component, as it is one of the first major companies to release earnings after the end of each quarter. It also coincides with an increasing number of earnings reports being released. There is no official end to the earnings season, but it is considered to be over when most major companies have released their quarterly earnings reports, which generally occurs about six weeks after the start of the season.

For example, for the fourth quarter, you will often see an increasing number of earnings reports released in the second week of January (Alcoa typically releases at the start of the second week). About six weeks later, or near the end of February, the number of earnings reports starts to decrease to pre-earnings season levels. There is also very little time between each earnings season. For example, the earnings season for the first quarter begins in early April, which is a little over a month after the end of the fourth quarter season.

This is a very active time in the market as participants (analysts, traders and investors) review the earnings reports, which may affect their positions on or in a company. You can often see a lot of movement in the shares of companies releasing reports as the market reacts to the new data. It is not unheard of to see shares jump 20% or more or to see them fall by this same amount. It is also a highly active time for the financial news media, such as CNBC and The Wall Street Journal. There is extensive media coverage of the major earnings releases from a general recap of the earnings to reporting on whether the companies missed, met or beat analyst expectations.

For more, see Earnings: Quality Means Everything.

RELATED FAQS

  1. How do intangible assets appear on a balance sheet?

    Understand how various types of intangible assets are handled in a company's accounting and which of them you can find on ...
  2. How do I calculate dividend payout ratio from a balance sheet?

    Understand what the dividend payout ratio indicates and learn how it can be calculated using the figures from a company's ...
  3. What is the difference between a fixed asset and a current asset?

    Discover the difference between fixed assets and current assets and the value of each to a company. Learn the category and ...
  4. What is the difference between tangible and intangible assets?

    Discover the difference between tangible assets and intangible assets and the types of assets that are in each. Additionally, ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Earned Premium

    The amount of total premiums collected by an insurance company ...
  2. Insurance Regulatory Information System (IRIS)

    A collection of databases and tools used to analyze the financial ...
  3. Book Value Reduction

    Reducing the value at which an asset is carried on the books ...
  4. Deferred Tax Asset

    A deferred tax asset is an asset on a company's balance sheet ...
  5. Working Capital

    This ratio indicates whether a company has enough short term ...
  6. Price-To-Cash-Flow Ratio

    The ratio of a stock’s price to its cash flow per share. The ...

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    These ETFs Track The Dow Jones Industrial ...

  2. Fundamental Analysis

    Making Sense Of The Dow Reaching Record ...

  3. Investing Basics

    How To Calculate Goodwill

  4. Budgeting

    Can Getting One Month Ahead Save Your ...

  5. Economics

    The Enduring Importance Of The DJIA

Trading Center