Meaning – The term preannounce, refers to the act of announcing something (usually a product) before it has been formally approved for the announcement. In earlier years, this practice was strictly forbidden.
The most common use of the term in the U.S. investing community is for a statement about earnings that are materially different from the expectation of financial analysts or from prior guidance given by the company.
The period during which preannouncements tend to be made is sometimes called the “confessional season” because so many of them are bad news.
Example of usage – “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.”