It is probably safe to say that most public companies have experienced the difficult situation of needing to issue preliminary financial results after the quarter ends but before the customary date that financial results would otherwise be publicly released. A number of factors could cause this situation to arise, such as any of the following:
- A securities offering will be launched during this time period.
- The most recent quarter is materially different than market expectations (either unusually weak or unusually strong).
- Management will be participating in a conference and desires to speak about recent results, among other reasons.
In securities offerings, preliminary financial results are often called “flash” numbers or “capsule financial information,” and, outside of offerings, the market may refer to an earnings release containing preliminary financial results as a “pre-release” (i.e., a preliminary earnings release before the actual, final earnings release).