Fundamental Data Reporting Lag Consequences
Author: LenMoz
Creation Date: 11/1/2014 7:46 PM
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LenMoz

#1
My Premise? You shouldn't trade a WL strategy that includes fundamental data because of the long delay in the fundamental providers. Here's what I mean...

This research on Adobe...

I can't find a WL data source that is anywhere near current. The Fidelity delay (informally stated by Robert aka Cone) is 2-4 weeks. My experience is worse . For one example of many I researched, Adobe (ADBE) reported earnings on 9/16/2014, six weeks ago. Using the web, the Fidelity earnings screen shows "GAAP .09", "Reported EPS .28", reported 9/16/2014. The WL Fidelity data provider update for ADBE, done 10/31/2014, shows a most recent "earnings" of .178 as of 6/17/2014. Six weeks and the September data is not reported in the Fidelity data provider.

Other data providers are worse - I updated fundamentals on 1Nov2014. The latest info? ThinkNum shows .36 as of 8/29/2014; Morningstar shows .56 as of 12/1/2013; 99WallStreet has .44 as of 6/22/2010 (yes, 2010).

Now consider - you develop a strategy based on fundamentals, price/earnings for instance, and it shows excellent, consistent performance. That strategy was based on fundamentals, in historical data, that were backdated by the provider. Given the delay in earnings reports, the P/E you calculate, and alerts you generate, will be wrong for the most recent six (or so) weeks, based on badly out of date earnings. Any performance from your fundamental-based strategy will be, mostly... Luck.


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Eugene

#2
This is a good point. Doesn't sound like you tried YCharts but there's a delay too. (Morningstar and MSN have annual data so it's a comparison between apples and oranges).

Your 99WallStreet provider's version supposedly is out of date but there's a problem even with the recent one. Latest release should return 9/16/2014 as on the website but in reality it skips all September items. Hotfix (2014.11.1) is already uploaded on the website; please update using the Extension Manager.
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Cone

#3
QUOTE:
The Fidelity delay (informally stated by Robert aka Cone) is 2-4 weeks.
What I really said was:
In the past we've seen data from earnings reports delayed up to 1 month. It's usually not that bad, but up to 2 weeks may not be all that uncommon.

Delays on that magnitude can be common, but it shouldn't be the rule. In the past I recall fundamental data updated within a few days of the report. It seems to me the reason you're noticing this now is because it's possible that something is wrong in updating fundamental data altogether.

I just checked the S&P 1500 and the most recent earnings update was 8-21-2014. "Earnings season" only started about 2 weeks ago, but it's way too odd that we haven't any updates for symbols that have reported even prior to that, like ADBE on 9-16-2014.

It always best when [a number of] customers call in problems like this, but I'll raise awareness too.
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LenMoz

#4
I'm waiting on a response from the Fidelity WLP group to my phone call of Wednesday. I also uploaded info through their support channel, but got the response that that group doesn't handle WLP. They responded

QUOTE:
Dear Mr. ************:
Thank you for choosing Fidelity Investments. My apologies for any inconvenience, however, we do not support the Wealth Lab Pro platform through this channel.
Please ask you please contact a Fidelity Wealth Lab Pro representative at:
800-823-0175 (all times Eastern)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday


Another more recent one I'm watching is CEVA, The Fidelity web site shows 10/30 earnings- there's no delay in updating the Fidelity web site. I'll be watching the data feed for that one, too.
QUOTE:
Most Recent Report
Q3 2014 on 10/30/14
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LenMoz

#5
YCharts gets the prize!

Their fundamentals update is current and runs pretty quick. They have the ADBE and CEVA updates...
CODE:
Please log in to see this code.
The number in parentheses is data age in days
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LenMoz

#6
Here's a script that finds the highest reported date for a fundamental within a portfolio. It's currently looking at Fidelity's "earnings per share", but you can override that. It only runs in portfolio (MSB) mode.

It confirms Cone's statement, "I just checked the S&P 1500 and the most recent earnings update was 8-21-2014".
CODE:
Please log in to see this code.


CODE:
Please log in to see this code.
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LenMoz

#7
Progress update: After another call to Fidelity on 11/4, they have escalated the issue to their data provider. Now waiting on that response.

As of 06Nov2014 8:00 a.m.
For S&P 500 symbols...
Fidelity "earnings per share"-

Most current, dated 8/21/2014->CRM, DLTR, GME, GPS, HRL, INTU, PDCO, ROST

Late? (179 symbols > 105 days): AA AAPL ABT ACE ACN ADBE ADI ADS AGN AIZ AN APD APH ATI AVB AVGO AZO
BA BAC BAX BBBY BBT BBY BHI BIIB BK BLK BRCM BTU C CA CAG CCI CCL CMA CMCSA CMG COF COL COST CPB CSX
CTAS CTXS DAL DD DFS DG DHR DOV DOW DRI EA EBAY EFX EMC ETFC FAST FB FCX FDO FDX FFIV FITB FLS FTI
GCI GD GE GILD GIS GOOG GPC GS GWW HAL HAS HBAN HCBK HOG HON HRB IBM INTC IPG IR ISRG JBL JCI JNJ
JNPR JOY JPM KEY KMB KMI KMX KO KR KSU LEN LH LLTC LMT MAC MAT MCD MJN MKC MO MON MS MSFT MTB MU NAVI
NBR NFLX NKE NOC NSC NTRS OMC ORCL ORLY PAYX PBCT PEP PGR PLD PLL PM PNC PPG PVH PX QCOM R RF RHI RHT
SCHW SHW SLB SNA SNDK SPG STI STJ STT STX STZ SWY SYK T TEL TIF TMK TMO TRIP TRV TSCO TSS TXN TXT UNH
USB UTX VAR VFC VZ WAG WAT WFC WHR XLNX YHOO YUM ZION
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LenMoz

#8
Progress update: Calls to Fidelity on 11/7 and today, 11/10, got only a promise to keep working the problem and following up with the vendor.

Fidelity customers - please also call to raise the attention level at Fidelity:
Contact Fidelity Wealth Lab Pro representatives at:
800-823-0175 (all times Eastern)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
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Cone

#9
Fidelity is actively working the issue, but if it's not fixed in a couple days, keep up the pressure by calling.
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richard1000

#10
I have also called Fidelity to fix this problem. I wonder what happened. I know that the latest release of WL 6.8 said Fidelity Economic Indicator Data provider has been decommissioned but it should not effect other Fundamentals. I hope somebody didn't screw up by flipping the wrong switch and decommission everything.
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Cone

#11
No, that's not the case. The last fundamental data update was 21 Aug, and the issue is being worked with the 3rd party provider.

Separately, some of Fidelity's Market Sentiment symbols are also not updating, and that's being work with the provider of that data (which I hear should be fixed before the end of the month).
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LenMoz

#12
Just off the phone with Fidelity. Nothing but "We're working it." and apologies. No indication of real progress.

In my S&P 500 portfolio, 383 symbols haven't had an update in 105 days and the last update remains 8/21. Pretty much this earnings season is blown and I've sold all positions signaled by the affected strategy since it's running blind. << disgusted>>
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marcal

#13
#LenMoz:
Thanks for this info. I too have begun looking into whether a strategy could be developed by acting quickly to EPS reporting.

Do you know whether Fidelity's Earnings Page/ Detail tab page for a particular symbol is updated in near real time??
eg: https://eresearch.fidelity.com/eresearch/evaluate/fundamentals/earnings.jhtml?symbols=ADBE

I also found this page at Yahoo for Earnings Surprises which shows companies reporting, actual eps, estimate eps and eps difference.
http://biz.yahoo.com/z/extreme.html
I don't know how often the data is updated and it won't be till markets open on Monday that I can try to check it.

I've only started learning C# a week ago but I've been able to scrape the table from this page. (no one would want to see my code though). I expect it could be accessed via Yahoo API and/or YQL but that's a little beyond me at this point.

Zacks also has an Earning Surprise page that can be downloaded as Excel file. Again, though I don't yet know how quickly it's updated.
http://www.zacks.com/earnings/earnings-reports.

As a Fidelity customer I think I'll give them a call and add another voice

thanks for the thread
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Eugene

#14
@marcal

Don't code what you can beg, borrow or steal. ;) As stated earlier in this thread, 99WallStreet fundamental provider offers EPS and revenue, including EPS/revenue estimate and surprise data. YCharts and Multpl provider do not have all that (just basic earnings) but can serve as backup.
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marcal

#15
@Eugene

Thank you sir: Web scraping is an area of interest so it's my first learning project. I spent hours trying to scrape Fidelity Earnings calendar without success and then last night I found your example. Ctrl-C -- Ctrl-V once you've googled enough to find the object to beg borrow and steal.

A methodology question sort-of on thread topic:
Goal is to get a list of symbols reporting earnings today. Watch those symbols during the day to get their actual eps reported as soon as possible.
So we can get today's list with your web scrape of Fidelity's calendar. Do we then put that list into a new dataset and run update using 99WallSt. as the provider? I just started searching for whether I can put that list into a new dataset and update that dataset programmatically. Done manually I'm guessing the update would have to be run every few minutes
.
I suspect the challenge is to find an open source data provider that's updating in near real time. I'm wondering if Fidelity's Earning detail page for a particular symbol is updating frequently whereas their calendar pages are not. Whether that's true or not needs to be determined. If so I would attempt to scrape data from the details page. (ungh, xpath is confusing)
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LenMoz

#16
@marcal,
QUOTE:
whether a strategy could be developed by acting quickly to EPS reporting.

Our goals are somewhat different. I'm not looking for intra-day fundamentals. Overnight or next day would be fine. For instance, I have a strategy based on Graham and Dodd's work. It compares closing price to assets per share (times a parameter). "assets" and "shares" have to be recent, that's all. In other cases I use fundamentals as a screen, excluding stocks based on a fundamental, asset to liability ratio, for instance.

Just my opinion, chasing instant earnings reports may not be effective. You might beat most retail investors, but you're not likely to beat the fund managers that really drive the prices - and you'll do a lot of work trying. You've got to not only learn of, but also react to, the new data. I don't care to make trades that fast.
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LenMoz

#17
Update 18Nov 8:20 am: Just off the phone with Fidelity. They "haven't heard back from the vendor." After that phone call, my office is so filled with excuses and platitudes from Fidelity that I can hardly move. But no discernible action.
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LenMoz

#18
Update 20Nov 10:40 am: Just off the phone with Fidelity. No change. Cone/Eugene, anything you can do?
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LenMoz

#19
Update 26Nov 00:53 am EST: Looks like they fixed it!

S&P 500 "earnings per share": Most current, dated 11/20/2014->ADSK, BBY, DLTR, GME, GPS, INTU, PDCO, ROST

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LenMoz

#20
Just a note about the timeliness of the Fidelity fundamental provider. Seems to be about a day after the announcement..

I did an update 11/26 at 19:26 EST. The most current are dated 11/25/2014->ADI, CPB, HPQ, HRL, PLL, and TIF.

Len
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cory

#21
Thanks for the updates...watching from the sidelines here. Will skew technical, and wait to see where fundamental timing lands. LMK if an additional call to Fidelity will help, perhaps to a specific person or team already aware.
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LenMoz

#22
The Fidelity Fundamental problem has been fixed (Post #19). Thanks for the offer. My experience now is that financials updates are seen in the Fidelity feed one to two business days after release. I'm waiting for a final(?) follow-up call, but the lead on this has been out. The Fidelity response to this has been underwhelming.

Should it recur, The Fidelity ticket is R5854127.

Len