Whisper Number

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Whisper Number'

1. Traditionally, the unofficial and unpublished earnings per share (EPS) forecasts that circulate among professionals on Wall Street. In this context, whisper numbers were generally reserved for the favored (wealthy) clients of a brokerage.

2. A company's forecasted future earnings or revenues according to the collective expectations of individual investors. In this sense, a whisper number would be compiled by a website polling its visitors. Individuals come up with a whisper number using their own analyses of company financials, market trends, gut feel, etc.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Whisper Number'

Whisper numbers are especially useful when they differ from the consensus forecast. They can be used as a tool to help spot (or avoid) an earnings surprise (or disappointment). Of course, this is only relevant if they are more accurate than the consensus estimate, and this depends on the sources used to calculate them.

Increased regulatory scrutiny on the brokerage industry made it much more difficult (if not impossible) to get a whisper number in the traditional sense. For example, regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley provided for stricter rules in how companies disclose financial data. Employees, financial professionals and brokerages face significant penalties if they provide insider earnings data to a select group of people. While it's impossible to know the extent to which whisper numbers still circulate among the wealthy, it's highly unlikely that a small investor could access this data. For these reasons, the newer definition (expectations of individuals) is of more relevance to regular individual investors.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Earnings Per Share - EPS

    The portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding ...
  2. Street Expectation

    The average estimate of a public company’s quarterly earnings ...
  3. Whisper Stock

    Shares in a company that is rumored to be the target of a takeover ...
  4. Earnings

    The amount of profit that a company produces during a specific ...
  5. Earnings Momentum

    When corporate earnings per share (EPS) growth is accelerating ...
  6. Wall Street

    1. A street in lower Manhattan that is the original home of the ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Can Good News Be A Signal To Sell?

    Sometimes positive announcements can mean bad news for a stock. Find out why.
  2. Markets

    The Impact Of Sell-Side Research

    Sell-side analysts are not stock buyers or sellers - rather, they provide unbiased guidance to traders.
  3. Economics

    Earnings Guidance: Can It Accurately Predict The Future?

    Explore the controversies surrounding companies commenting on their forward-looking expectations.
  4. Markets

    Whisper Numbers: Should You Listen?

    These unofficial forecasts hold the potential for insider insight - and investment risk.
  5. Forex Education

    How To Trade Forex On News Releases

    When economic data comes out, it can have a marked impact on the currency market. Find out how to profit.
  6. Options & Futures

    Can Insiders Help You Make Better Trades?

    Find out why the trading activity of owners and executives can be a valuable trade-confirmation tool.
  7. Economics

    The Economic Impact of Better US-Cuba Relations

    We examine what the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba will mean for the two countries' economies.
  8. Investing Basics

    What is the difference between a company's outstanding shares and its float?

    Understanding share counts, including outstanding shares relative to float, is an integral part of determining whether or not to invest in a particular company.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    What are some CEO characteristics/behaviors that could lead to a drop in stock prices?

    Learn about CEO behaviors that may adversely affect a stock price. Explore the conviction of Martha Stewart for obstruction of justice and its consequences.
  10. Savings

    I’m twice divorced –-can I still collect spousal benefits?

    Unsure if you’re eligible for spousal benefits if you’re divorced –more than once? Rob Kron from Blackrock gives a simple answer.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Weather Insurance

    A type of protection against a financial loss that may be incurred because of rain, snow, storms, wind, fog, undesirable ...
  2. Portfolio Turnover

    A measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Portfolio turnover is calculated by ...
  3. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  4. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  5. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
  6. Break-Even Analysis

    An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even ...
Trading Center