In a setting with local bias in investors’ portfolios, the purpose of this paper is to study the stockholder wealth impact of negative earnings surprises for local firms as reported in a local newspaper.
In the sample of earnings announcements, the authors observe that the stock price impact is statistically significantly more (less) negative in the case where the absolute difference between announced earnings and the consensus analysts’ forecast is greater (smaller) than the absolute difference between the announced earnings and last-year-same-quarter earnings.
The differential effect is only observed when the stock market uncertainty (VIX) is high. In the empirical analysis, the paper finds that investors’ reactions to negative earnings surprises appear to be influenced by the level of historical, publicly available last-year-same-quarter earnings.
When stock market uncertainty is high, the result suggests that the stock market may not be semi-strong efficient and/or that there is a behavioral response to negative earnings surprises in a setting where investors have portfolios over-weighted with local firm stocks.
JEL Classifications — G11, G14, G30, H31
The authors thank the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their suggestions that have significantly improved the paper. The authors thank Olena Tsurska for proofreading the manuscript and Alan Gin for providing data on the local economic index. The usual disclaimer applies.
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