Shocker: Contrary to what you probably believe — at least contrary to my belief! — most companies do not give quarterly earnings guidance.
According to Factset, which did a run at my request:
- Only 96 of the S&P 500 give quarterly earnings guidance.
- 64 offer sales guidance.
- 50 give both quarterly sales and earnings guidance.
The story is much different with annual guidance, reflecting a growing trend of recent years, as companies have tried to pry themselves from such short-term orientation.
Further, according to Factset:
- A more robust 225 give annual earnings guidance.
- 144 give annual sales guidance.
- 116 give both annual sales and earnings guidance.
The grand finale: Only 30 give quarterly and annual earnings and sales guidance.