Mastercard -- A Tale of Great Expectations
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MasterCard(MA) reports this week, but enough about that. In the lead-up to their earnings -- really, any earnings -- it's essential to take inventory of Wall Street sentiment, something the media rarely does. I know, I know: the media is dutiful in telling us the numbers; precisely where Wall Street earnings estimates stand. Sometimes it's all they do.
But I'm talking ratings: how many Wall Street firms are rating the stock a so-called Buy -- and how many a Sell? In the near term, a shift in rating can push a stock. But f everyone is already rating the stock a Buy, it may have no impetus to run. Similarly, if a high number have the stock rated a Hold or lower, there is a bit more potential. This is not a foolproof measure or, by any means, the only factor a trader should be examining in the prelude to an earnings report. But it is one and it is a little troubling that the media pays it little, if any, mind.