DEFINITION of 'Sandbag'

A tactic used to hide or limit expectations of a company's or individual's strength in order to produce greater than anticipated results. Sandbagging, in business, is most often seen when company managers temper the expectations of superiors or shareholders by giving guidance below what they know will be achieved. Once the better than expected results are presented, the firm looks all the better.


Let's imagine for example that Orange Inc had gained a reputation in the late 2000s for sandbagging quarterly expectations leading up to earnings season. Analysts and pundits alike would be confident that quarterly numbers would be strong. However, when results were released they would be markedly higher than most expected, thus leading to a surge in share value, which may be a more favorable outcome in terms of press coverage.

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