Define: Earnings Surprise

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Earnings Surprise



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Full Definition of Earnings Surprise


An earnings surprise occurs any time a stock’s earnings do not match anticipated earnings. If the stock’s earnings are higher than the market expected then the earnings surprise is positive — and if earnings are less than the market was looking for then the earnings surprise is negative. A positive earnings surprise often results in a bump up in a stock’s price, and a negative earnings surprise can result in a drop in a stock’s value. Unless an investor has done extensive research into a company, it is often difficult to anticipate ahead of time if there will be an earnings surprise when a company’s earnings are released, and therefore difficult to predict when there might be a positive earnings surprise or a negative earnings surprise.


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Earnings Surprise. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved February 18, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/earnings-surprise/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Earnings Surprise are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • BusinessDictionary.com
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 9th February 2020.