As underwriters guide a company through the initial public offering process, the equity research analysts are busy preparing their financial models and forecasts for the company, which are typically published after the IPO occurs. However, there is a practice in which the analysts' estimates for the company's future performance are told ("whispered") to institutional investors as part of the roadshow. With the Facebook IPO, this practice is under scrutiny. The Reuters article "IPO 'whisper' estimates may be heard after Facebook" is a good summary of the issue and the controversy. It's a worthwhile read. Here's the link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/05/ipo-whispers-facebook-idUSL1E8GVPHP20120605
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