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The Short Answer

A Long-Term Investor's Guide to Earnings Reports

Quarterly reports can help you track a firm against your long-term expectations, but one earnings miss is not always--or even often--cause for concern.

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Question: How much attention should I pay to quarterly earnings reports? Should I just tune them out?

Answer: While it's true that it's probably a good idea not to put too much weight on how a stock you own performs relative to analysts' consensus estimates over one or two quarters, it's probably not a good idea to completely tune out quarterly earnings reports, either. After all, earnings reports inform your longer-term views.

Karen Wallace does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.