For public companies there are few public documents they create that have more immediate impact than their quarterly press releases announcing their earnings.
Casual followers of a company will perk up when they hear the earnings of the company they follow mentioned on the radio in their car, or when someone mentions the latest quarter on Twitter. Traders, pundits and armchair CEOs go a step further and are often waiting for the first posting of the press release to company websites and news services like PR Newswire and BusinessWire.
Seems that the Bloomberg service for which serious traders pay $1,700 per month per seat for the service are getting some earnings releases even earlier. How you ask? BusinessInsider tracked down the story, and I found it first on Talking Biz News (which I love).
This is how BusinessInsider described it:
Humans are creatures of habit, and the humans who post earnings releases on company web sites are no different than any other humans.
Which means that if the web-page URL for a company’s second quarter’s earnings release was, say:
It’s probably a safe bet that the URL for the third quarter’s earnings release will be:
So the folks at Bloomberg just set their system up to ping the company’s server constantly in the hours before the press release is due to appear, in the hope that some dolt in investor relations will publish it before the market closes.
And as the past several quarters have shown, many companies are happy to oblige.
So, remember making your life easier by having a process also makes it easier for those trying to find out information, you may not be quite ready to share yet.