Thursday, April 25, 2024

Since earnings season for Q1 2024 is now in full swing, today we offer a refresher course on how to use Calcbench and our many database resources to analyze corporate earnings. The task is a bit more tricky than you think.

For starters, let’s review a few fundamentals about earnings releases:

  1. Not every company issues an earnings release. Most do, because that helps investors; but earnings releases are not required by law, and some companies choose not to issue them.

  2. The format of earnings releases can vary from one company to the next. Again, most companies tend to report a few clearly defined fundamentals — revenue, net earnings, gross profit, and the like — but they don’t have to follow the rigid format that you’d see in, say, a 10-K filing. 

  3. Earnings releases can also contain lots of other information, such as operating metrics or key performance indicators. We’ve seen airlines report miles flows, ride-share apps report number of passengers booked, and railroads report number of railcars rolling around the country. The list of non-GAAP disclosures is endless.

  4. The numbers in earnings releases are not audited. (The numbers in quarterly 10-Q reports are reviewed by auditors, and the numbers in annual 10-K reports are audited.)

OK, now onto the good stuff: Where can you actually find earnings releases in Calcbench? 

Start With the Recent Filings Page

You can always start by looking at our Recent Filings page, which lists all filings for each day. As those filings arrive at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Calcbench indexes the data and has them ready for consumption within a few minutes. 

To find each day’s earnings releases, just hit the “Earnings Release” filter at the top of the display. We did that at 11:10 a.m. on April 25, and found dozens of earnings releases already filed, including Tootsie Roll Industries ($TR), Oshkosh Corp. ($OSK), Union Pacific ($UNP), and many more. See Figure 1, below.

If you see an earnings release that you want to study right there, you can always export the data in the release into Excel by hitting the “Export Data Tables” button at the right-hand side of each listing. 

Pro tip: you can always configure Calcbench to send you alerts via email whenever companies you follow submit a new filing, including earnings releases. Typically we’ll have all that data indexed within minutes of it arriving at the SEC, and an email alert in your in-box at roughly the same time.

Other Ways to Research Earnings

Say you know the company whose earnings you want to research, but not whether or when the company has actually filed an earnings release. Calcbench can help there, too.

Start by going to the Disclosures and Footnotes Query page and looking up the company you want to research. Calcbench will then give you a long list of possible disclosures you can pull up — including the company’s earnings release. Select that choice, and the earnings release for the period in question will appear.

Figure 2, below, shows how this would work with Tootsie Roll for its 2023 annual report.

If you want to look up a company’s earnings release for the current filing period (say, Q1 2024), you might not even need to set the menu choice to the earnings release, if that release is the only filing we have. For example, we do have Tootsie Roll’s Q1 earnings release on file, but since the company hasn’t filed anything else yet (like a full 10-Q), that release would be the only choice you’d see. Hence we used the 2023 annual report as an example, to show you the full complexity you might encounter. 

For a more formal briefing on earrings releases, we also have our Guide to Analyzing Earnings Press Releases, a PDF you can download with more samples of what companies offer and how to study it.

You can also find non-GAAP earnings metrics on our Multi-Company search page, as we discussed in a previous How-To article. We also have a few tricks up our sleeves with template Excel spreadsheets we offer that track some earnings data — but that’s in our next How-To post, coming soon!

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