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This story appears in the January 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What's the value of a whisper? According to the research of three university professors, whisper forecasts--the unofficial estimates of corporate earnings that circulate among traders and investors before official results are revealed--could help you fatten your investment portfolio.

In their year-long 1997 study, business professors Mark Bagnoli Messod, Daniel Benish and Susan Watts compared 943 whispers to more than 3,500 traditional analyst forecasts for 127 firms. They found that the whispers tended to be more optimistic than those coming from traditional analysts--and more accurate.

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