The period during which preannouncements tend to be made is sometimes called the "confessional season" because so many of them are bad news.
It has been argued that in the U.S. a preannouncement of earnings during a quarter does not need to be furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a Form 8-K, but that a preannouncement after the quarter ends must be.
It has been suggested that potential litigation costs are one reason for announcing bad news early - the company may be at risk of being sued for having known the bad information, not having revealed it, and causing a loss to those who bought stock after the company knew. There are indeed more preannoucements of bad news than of good news, and the number of preannouncements increased in the mid-1990s in the wake of an increased threat of shareholder lawsuits. Firms in industries more subject to litigation are more likely to preannounce. The more analysts cover a stock, the more likely the firm is to preannounce, and good preannouncements average releasing half the good news while bad preannouncements average releasing all of the bad news.
Motorway - Preannouncement of invitation to tender for consultancy contract. (News Briefs from tunnelbuilder.com).
Aug 01, 2001; Puertollano, Spain - Motorway - Preannouncement of invitation to tender for consultancy contract to establish route of A42...
Sexual risk behaviors of STD clinic patients before and after Earvin "Magic" Johnson's HIV-infection announcement - Maryland, 1991-1992. (sexually transmitted diseases)
Jan 29, 1993; During the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, media and public interest have been captured periodically by accounts of...