The Comprehensive Guide to

Passive Income Investing


Learn the secrets of how Paul Tracy generates over $XXX,XXX per month in passive income!

How to Become Financially Independent Through Passive Income Investing

What is a Whisper Number?

A whisper number is an unofficial, unpublished earnings per share (EPS) forecast for a public company. It is not the same as a consensus estimate.

How Does a Whisper Number Work?

To create a whisper number, somebody (usually a website, investment bank, brokerage firm, or other institution) polls investors and analysts about what they really think a particular company's earnings per share are going to be for the next quarter and/or year. Obtaining the results -- the whisper number -- is usually a matter of privilege: preferred clients, paying website subscribers, and other connected people are often the only ones who have access to the information.

Whisper numbers often differ from consensus estimates, which are generally company-guided, analyst-driven, published forecasts. Thomson First call, Zacks, and Reuters are prominent providers of consensus estimates. Whereas consensus estimates are typically math-driven, whisper numbers often are the result of 'gut feel' or less quantitative information. They are a big part of the Wall Street rumor mill.

Why Does a Whisper Number Matter?

Whisper numbers are most useful when they differ from the consensus estimates, because they can sometimes predict earnings surprises. Earnings surprises in turn often lead to quick changes in the stock's price--when actual earnings exceed expected earnings, the stock price jumps; when actual earnings 'miss' expected earnings, the stock price falls. It is possible for a company to beat consensus, for example, but miss the whisper number.

If the whisper numbers prove more accurate than the consensus, they begin to carry a tremendous amount of weight; for companies that don't have a lot of formal analyst coverage, whisper numbers can be even more influential.

Ask an Expert about Whisper Number

All of our content is verified for accuracy by Paul Tracy and our team of certified financial experts. We pride ourselves on quality, research, and transparency, and we value your feedback. Below you'll find answers to some of the most common reader questions about Whisper Number.

Be the first to ask a question

If you have a question about Whisper Number, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question
Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.