A little-known financial data platform firm just put itself on the map on Tuesday by finding Twitter’s earnings announcement early and publishing it without breaking any rules.
At 3:07 p.m., Selerity Corp. posted Twitter’s first-quarter earnings results in a series of Tweets.
Twitter was scheduled to report its numbers after the closing bell, not before 4 pm.
Twitter’s stock fell on the news and was halted. After it reopened, shares plunged.
Selerity launched in 2008 as an event detection platform that specialises in business news. The company uses automated technology to go across sources — the web, press releases, social media, etc. — with the goal of using technology to detect important events for the markets.
Selerity’s clients include banks, hedge funds and proprietary trading firms.
“It was definitely public,” Selerity’s CEO Ryan Terpstra told Business Insider in a telephone interview. “We’re getting it from the investor relations website.”
Selerity’s CEO used to be the director of quantitative news at Thomson Reuters, where he helped launch Thomson Quantitative News (TQN) — a machine-readable news service for investors, according to his bio.
“We’re trying to detect breaking news. What was posted on the website was a .PDF from Twitter themselves,” Terpstra explained, adding that it could be found on the investor relations page with a web browser.
Because it came from Twitter’s site, Selerity felt comfortable pushing it out. They push all financial data out in real-time using a data feed for their Wall Street clients. They also Tweet.
Speaking of Twitter, Selerity has increased its following by a few thousand since the Twitter earnings news.
Today’s earnings leak isn’t the first time that a company’s earnings results have been discovered early. It’s happened before with Google, Intel, Juniper, Buffalo Wild Wings, Microsoft, Transocean, Disney, NetApp, Citigroup, Applied Materials, just to name a few.
Bloomberg News is famous for spotting corporate earnings announcements early.
Here’s how they do it, according to this Wall Street Journal article:
According to people familiar with the news outlet’s procedures, Bloomberg News journalists frequently scour corporate websites to see if they can find news releases posted early by companies who are parking news online expecting no one will see them.
These people say, for example, the Bloomberg journalists will type the Web address for a company’s first quarter earnings release, and then adjust the URL just to change the number of the quarter.
In this business, time is everything.