This paper starts from the observation that small businesses in France report a significant fraction of their net income in the form of non-core earnings. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to examine the persistence and informativeness of both core and non-core earnings of small businesses listed on the Euronext Paris market.
Panel regressions estimated with heteroskedasticity robust standard errors are used to investigate the relationships between earnings components, future performance and stock market valuation of small businesses.
The findings show that core and non-core earnings of the current year (t), contrary to those of the previous year (t−1), make it possible to predict the performance of the next year (t+1). However, only the persistence of current core earnings is valued by the stock market.
The study puts forward an anomaly of market efficiency. Thus, it shows that investors in the French stock market do not appropriately price a part of the available financial information (i.e. non-core earnings) that may contribute to a better assessment of the future performance of listed small businesses.
The persistence of non-core earnings is certainly less important than that of core elements but able to help investors appraise the future performance of listed small businesses. Hence, it represents useful financial information for investors.
This paper contributes to the existing literature by investigating the relationships between earnings, future performance and stock market valuation of listed SMEs, especially. Thus, the findings of this research allow a better understanding of earnings components properties (i.e. persistence) and their implication on the stock market valuation (i.e. informativeness) of listed SMEs. Given the observed specificities of earnings for this category of firms, these findings may be of particular interest to both researchers and investors.
JEL Classification — G32, M41, L26
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