What is an Earnings Call?

An earnings call is a public announcement, usually via conference call, of a company's profits, usually on a quarterly basis.

How Does an Earnings Call Work?

Company XYZ is a public company. As such, it must file a 10Q every quarter with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At that time or just before, Company XYZ will also issue a press release announcing significant components of its financial performance (especially profit margins) and any noteworthy items. It will also host a publicly available conference call to relay this information and answer questions from analysts.

Why Does an Earnings Call Matter?

Earnings calls are often the first pieces of definitive information that investors and analysts get regarding a company's financial performance for the quarter or year. They are also the first time analysts get to ask about the results and request comment or further insight from management. Analysts and investors pay special attention to earnings calls and even plan trades around them.