Fewer companies are putting their numbers out in a simple press release, irking reporters and investors

One of the most frustrating ways for companies to release earnings is featuring more frequently this season.

Instead of publishing quarterly numbers in a press release that runs on a news feed, more companies are providing a link to the investor relations page on their website. That then leads to a release or shareholder letter or “supplemental tables,” forcing reporters and investors to click through multiple links to access the information they need.

That may not sound like much of a hardship, but as many people attempt to access links at the same time, sites often crash or the link hangs for several minutes, creating stress for anyone who needs to see the numbers in real time.

“It’s time consuming,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at the retail brokerage First Standard Financial. “By that time, if it’s good news the stock is already up, and if it’s bad news the stock is already down.”

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Tesla Motors Corp. TSLA, -0.55%  and Netflix Inc. NFLX, +3.77%  are serial offenders, as they have always released their earnings in the form of a shareholder letter accessible via a link. In 2015, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +0.58%  started to put out a release with limited details of quarterly results, before directing readers to click on a “Smart News Release” link via Business Wire, and then to yet another link to get a full multimedia result.





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