I think that companies know how earnings are going to come out ahead of time. There is no element of surprise. They know how much to spend and how they want to dress up the call. When there is plenty of money and that is not the problem they can pay things off and lessen profits. In this case they would not want the stock the run as they buy back. They had to find a way to make the price drop so they can buy more shares.
This is buy back 101 boys and class is in session. This was timed perfectly to reduce price to buy back stock at a cheaper price. With buy backs in progress longs get more bang for their buck. Plain and simple. Longs can't loose. Hahaaaaahaaaaa