Best Free Stock Analysis Tools Going Into Earnings Season

All (some of) the tools you need
for the upcoming earnings season. We're going into earnings season. Ahead of time we need to know earnings dates, earnings estimates, earnings performance history and more.

When we analyze a company's stock to decide if we want to own it we try to speak to management, build an earnings model, come up with earnings estimates and decide if the stock is worth it.

Around that process there are go-to web tools that we constantly use to give us confirmation or warn us that we might get run over.

Let's review a few. We have no business relationship with any of these links we're mentioning. We just like them.

Short Interest

We use shortsqueeze and NASDAQ to find out short interest.  NASDAQ shows you the trend for free and Shortsqueeze shows you the month-to-month change. They both matter. If there is a high short interest we usually want to dig in a little more to make sure we're not missing something.  That said, if you find a stock you like, the more short interest the better because if you're right those shorts need to cover, buying back the shares sending it higher.

A high shorts worth noting for us is typically 5% of the float or more.

Earnings Estimates

We use estimize to know where the Street numbers are.  You need to know what your models say (our models here). Then you need to have some idea where the street is.

We like to use the official Wall Street number. We happen to publish on Reuters and our numbers factor into the Street numbers at times.

More estimates than just the Street numbers can tell you where people are leaning.  In our history, surprising to say we think over time the crowds aren't so wrong when they are doing detailed analysis. Having an earnings number is detailed analysis.

If our earnings estimates are below the street, even if we love the company, we usually shy away.

Earnings Reaction

We use stockearnings. It's important to know if the stock you like does well when they have their quarterly reports. If the stock does well after quarterly reports it means that the company tends to be conservative and the Street is pleasantly surprised.  Keep in mind companies can't play the conservative game forever. Smart analysts catch on.  If the company continues to have good stock performance it means that they are genuinely surprised.

We like to see 65% or more of the quarters having a good stock reaction.  It can tell you a lot about the company you want to buy.

Earnings Dates

We've started to keep our own but we like to use Earnings Whispers. Many use Yahoo's calendar but for us it was too cumbersome.  One thing that's critical is you want your earnings dates to be right. Earnings Whispers confirms the date clearly and we haven't found that they've been wrong.

PE Valuation

We use YCharts. You may have an earnings estimate but you need to know what your stock traded at historically PE-wise. We like to use a 3-5 year average PE to decide if a company's stock is worth buying.

You're all set, armed and prepared for earnings season.  Good luck. Any questions, let us know.

By: Chaim Siegel, Elazar Advisors, LLC

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