Whisper numbers are unofficial earnings numbers that are related to a given stock or investment option. The whispered number typically makes its way around a given market and sometimes can be the motivation for investors to act on a hunch and buy or sell a particular security. While these rumored earnings numbers may have some basis in fact, they more generally the result of speculation that may or may not be logical or practical.
A whisper number can make the rounds to investors and brokers in several different ways. Traditionally, these purported earnings numbers are shared by word of mouth. An investor hears of a projected performance based on some speculated factors and determines that there may actually be some basis for the projection. He or she then passes the tip on to others, who in turn also distribute the whisper number to their associates. Eventually, the whisper number will become widely known. At this juncture, financial experts normally are able to shed some light on the quality of the whisper number, and thus prevent any further speculation on the matter.
Another common means of sharing a whisper number today involves the Internet. Web sites devoted to whisper numbers have sprung up in recent years. Many of these sites will include message boards that make it very easy to share a tip with other members and visitors to the board. While in some cases these message boards are moderated, they are more often open to posting by any member without the need for messages to be filtered or qualified.
Part of the attraction of whisper numbers is that they often are more spectacular in their claims than the projections made by financial analysts. For investors who are willing to assume a higher degree of risk with their trading, whisper numbers often provide food for thought. However, even the most adventurous of investors can benefit from investigating the origins of a given whisper number thoroughly before acting on the tip.