Apple's earnings generated a bad market reaction, but it could have been worse.
The tech giant's stock dropped about 8 percent on Wednesday, a day after the company released earnings. The drop erased $46 billion in market cap, but it could have been worse if the company had delayed reporting its earnings.
Research from California State University, San Marcos, shows that companies see their stock price fall farther and faster if they delay delivering negative earnings surprise announcements toward the end of earnings season. Likewise, companies beating estimates with surprise earnings see greater returns when they report at the beginning of earnings season.
So if you have bad news to tell your investors, it's best to get ahead of the game and come out and tell them. Delaying the inevitable just makes you look shady and won't do them any favors in the long run.