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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Guojin Gong, Yue Li and Ling Zhou

It has been widely documented that investors and analysts underreact to information in past earnings changes, a fundamental performance indicator. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

It has been widely documented that investors and analysts underreact to information in past earnings changes, a fundamental performance indicator. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether managers’ voluntary disclosure efficiently incorporates information in past earnings changes, whether analysts recognize and fully anticipate the potential inefficiency in management forecasts and whether managers’ potential forecasting inefficiency entirely results from intentional disclosure strategies or at least partly reflects managers’ unintentional information processing biases.

Design/methodology/approach

Archival data were used to empirically test the relation between management earnings forecast errors and past earnings changes.

Findings

Results show that managers underreact to past earnings changes when projecting future earnings and analysts recognize, but fail to fully anticipate, the predictable bias associated with past earnings changes in management forecasts. Moreover, analysts appear to underreact more to past earnings changes when management forecasts exhibit greater underestimation of earnings change persistence. Further analyses suggest that the underestimation of earnings change persistence is at least partly attributable to managers’ unintentional information processing bias.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the voluntary disclosure literature by demonstrating the limitation in the informational value of management forecasts. The findings indicate that the effectiveness of voluntary disclosure in mitigating market mispricing is inherently limited by the inefficiency in management forecasts. This study can help market participants to better use management forecasts to form more accurate earnings expectations. Moreover, our evidence suggests a managerial information processing bias with respect to past earnings changes, which may affect managers' operational, investment or financing decisions.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2019

Ahmed Bouteska and Boutheina Regaieg

The purpose of this paper is to detect quantitatively the existence of anchoring bias among financial analysts on the Tunisian stock market. Both non-parametric and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to detect quantitatively the existence of anchoring bias among financial analysts on the Tunisian stock market. Both non-parametric and parametric methods are used.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies have been conducted over the period 2010–2014. A first analysis is non-parametric, based on observations of the sign taking by the surprise of result announcement according to the evolution of earning per share (EPS). A second analysis uses simple and multiple linear regression methods to quantify the anchor bias.

Findings

Non-parametric results show that in the majority of cases, the earning per share variations are followed by unexpected earnings surprises of the same direction, which verify the hypothesis of an anchoring bias of financial analysts to the past benefits. Parametric results confirm these first findings by testing different psychological anchors’ variables. Financial analysts are found to remain anchored to the previous benefits and carry out insufficient adjustments following the announcement of the results by the companies. There is also a tendency for an over/under-reaction in changes in forecasts. Analysts’ behavior is asymmetrical depending on the sign of the forecast changes: an over-reaction for positive prediction changes and a negative reaction for negative prediction changes.

Originality/value

The evidence provided in this paper largely validates the assumptions derived from the behavioral theory particularly the lessons learned by Kaestner (2005) and Amir and Ganzach (1998). The authors conclude that financial analysts on the Tunisian stock market suffer from anchoring, optimism, over and under-reaction biases when announcing the earnings.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Imran Haider, Nigar Sultana, Harjinder Singh and Yeut Hong Tham

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether there is an association between CEO age and analysts forecast properties (particularly forecast accuracy and bias/optimism)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether there is an association between CEO age and analysts forecast properties (particularly forecast accuracy and bias/optimism). CEOs, having the central role in managing firms, can significantly influence the financial and non-financial decisions in an organisation. Furthermore, having been identified as key culprits in past major accounting scandals, it is also important to identify the CEO characteristics that affect financial reporting decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts the upper echelon theory on the relationship between CEO age and analysts forecast properties. The authors use a sample of 2,730 Australian firm-year observations for the period 2004–2013 drawn from IBES, Connect 4 and SIRCA databases.

Findings

The authors find that analyst forecast accuracy increases and bias (optimism) reduces with the CEO age. The authors conclude that earnings and related information provided to analysts improves with the CEO age, which increases the forecast accuracy and reduces bias (optimism). Additional results suggest that the positive (negative) effect of CEO age on forecast accuracy (bias) remains until the CEOs reach the age of their retirement age (65 years). The results remain consistent with a number of sensitivity tests and provide implication for stakeholders such as firms, analysts, auditors, financial statements users and regulators.

Practical implications

The authors demonstrate that the relationship between CEO age and analyst forecast properties is not linear but is, in fact, curvilinear substantiating concerns that CEOs that are much younger or much older do not help increase the quality of the information environment. Consequently, firms hiring CEOs in the right age bracket also benefit by having higher-quality information environment leading possibly to reduce costs such as those relating to debt and/or equity ultimately increasing firm value.

Originality/value

Empirical studies on the association between CEO age and analysts earnings properties in Australia are scarce and this paper contributes to the determinants of the analysts forecast accuracy and bias (optimism) and the CEO age literature.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2021

Max Schreder and Pawel Bilinski

This study aims to evaluate the earnings forecasting models of Hou et al. (J Account Econ, 53:504–526, 2012) and Li and Mohanram (Rev Account Stud, 19:1152–1185, 2014) in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to evaluate the earnings forecasting models of Hou et al. (J Account Econ, 53:504–526, 2012) and Li and Mohanram (Rev Account Stud, 19:1152–1185, 2014) in terms of bias and accuracy and validity of the implied cost of capital (ICC) estimates for a sample of initial public offerings (IPOs).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a sample of 1,657 NYSE, Amex and Nasdaq IPOs from 1972 to 2013.

Findings

The models of Hou et al. and Li and Mohanram produce relatively inaccurate and biased earnings forecasts, leading to unreliable ICC estimates, particularly for small and loss-making IPOs that constitute the bulk of new listings. As a remedy, the authors propose a new earnings forecasting model, a combination of Hou et al.’s and Li and Mohanram’s earnings persistence models, and show that it produces more accurate and less biased earnings forecasts and more valid ICC estimates.

Originality/value

The study contributes novel results to the literature on the validity of cross-sectional earnings models in forecasting IPO firm earnings and estimating the ICC. The findings are directly relevant for practitioners, who can improve their earnings forecasting accuracy for IPO firms and related ICC estimates. The insights can be extended to other settings where investors have limited access to financial information, such as acquisitions of private targets.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2009

Susan M. Young

Prior literature has found that as uncertainty in a firms information environment increases, optimism increases in equity analysts’ earnings forecasts. The studies suggest…

Abstract

Prior literature has found that as uncertainty in a firms information environment increases, optimism increases in equity analysts’ earnings forecasts. The studies suggest an economic incentive explanation, commonly called the management‐relations hypothesis. However, there is conflicting evidence that managers would prefer pessimistic forecasts and encourage analysts to “walk‐down” their forecasts to prevent negative earnings surprises. To test these contradictory findings, this study uses an experimental setting to remove economic incentives from the analyst’s decision process and isolate the cause of observed bias in analysts’ reports. The results of the experiment show that an increase in the perceived uncertainty of the forecasting task results in significantly lower relative optimism in analysts’ earnings forecasts. This finding is consistent with a negativity hypothesis and the managementrelations hypothesis extolled in the empirical research. The findings also show that relative forecast optimism bias is positively related to the level of analysts’ buy/sell recommendations consistent with more recent findings that suggest that analysts use motivated reasoning (the tendency to process information in a manner that supports one’s goal) in their judgments of forecasted earnings and recommendations. Together, these results suggest that analysts consider and use financial information differently depending on their decision goal.

Details

Review of Behavioural Finance, vol. 1 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1940-5979

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2013

A.K.M. Waresul Karim, Kamran Ahmed and Tanweer Hasan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of audit quality and ownership structure on the degrees of accuracy and bias in earnings forecasts issued in initial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of audit quality and ownership structure on the degrees of accuracy and bias in earnings forecasts issued in initial public offering (IPO) prospectuses in a frontier market, Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses both univariate and multivariate tests on the sample of 75 IPOs. The paper employs the tests to see the association between the degree of forecast bias and three corporate governance variables.

Findings

The results reveal that the magnitude of earnings forecast bias is significantly explained by issuer, auditor reputation, proportions of capital raised from domestic as well as foreign investors, and whether the IPO firm is a start-up venture. Underwriter prestige, length of the issuing firms' operating history, leverage, whether the firm went public during a stock market boom, and forecast horizon do not appear to be statistically significant in explaining the degree of forecast bias.

Originality/value

Although auditor reputation and the proportion of equity retained by pre-IPO owners have been investigated in several studies on IPO forecast accuracy and/or bias, no study has attributed them to corporate governance as a whole by combining auditor reputation, and ownership categories held by small private investors and foreign portfolio investors.

Details

Studies in Economics and Finance, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1086-7376

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Mohammed Abdullah Ammer and Nurwati A. Ahmad-Zaluki

This paper aims to examine the impact of disclosure regulation on the levels of bias and accuracy in management earnings forecasts disclosed in the prospectuses of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of disclosure regulation on the levels of bias and accuracy in management earnings forecasts disclosed in the prospectuses of Malaysian initial public offering (IPO). Specifically, the authors investigated the two environments of regulation (mandatory versus voluntary) to draw some conclusions regarding the benefits of regulating disclosure of management earnings forecasts.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 111 Malaysian IPOs listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia from January 1, 2004 to February 29, 2012 was used. The paper uses both univariate and multivariate statistical analyses on this sample of IPOs.

Findings

The empirical results of these multivariate regressions indicated that disclosure regulation has positive and significant impact on the bias and accuracy of management earnings forecasts disclosed in IPO prospectus. In general, the study results suggest that using disclosure regulation to improve the quality of IPO earnings forecasts can be, to some extent, an effective strategy.

Practical implications

The findings of this study have important implications for regulators and investors. The findings can provide them some relevant insights on the improvements to the earnings forecasts accuracy and trends of the forecast (optimistic or pessimistic) after the change from mandatory to voluntary disclosure. Thus, the authorities may learn whether this change is an effective policy or whether the regime of mandatory disclosure was better for IPO companies and should be reversed.

Originality/value

This study is regarded as the first attempt to investigate the impact of reforms in disclosure regulation on the quality of management earnings forecasts of IPO prospectuses in a developing nation such as Malaysia. In spite of this, the paper focuses on a single country, and it contributes significant insights to the debate about the credibility of IPO management earnings forecasts.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Yu-Ho Chi and David A. Ziebart

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of auditor type on management’s choice of forecast precision and management forecast errors, including the effects of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of auditor type on management’s choice of forecast precision and management forecast errors, including the effects of corporate governance. The authors use a different sample and a larger period of years to determine whether prior inferences are robust across these dimensions as well as various corporate governance and other control variables.

Design/methodology/approach

This quasi-experimental study uses archival data in regression-based analyses.

Findings

The authors find firms with Big 5 auditors issue forecasts that have larger forecast errors are biased downward and are less precise. The inferences of this study are robust to the inclusion of corporate governance variables, along with an extensive number of control variables found important in prior studies.

Research limitations/implications

While the sample and time period may be limited, the authors have no evidence this biases the results.

Practical implications

More stringent auditing may have an unintended consequence of reducing the informativeness of management forecasts, as managers act strategically in regards to forecast accuracy, bias and precision.

Social implications

The inferences of this study indicate that while higher quality audits could constrain earnings management, higher quality audits may induce management to provide forecasts that have greater errors, may be biased and may be less informative.

Originality/value

The results and inferences of this study suggest that the inferences in prior studies hold across a different sample and a different time period. This is important given concerns in the academic community regarding the extent to which prior studies can be replicated.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Peter Frischmann, K.C. Lin and Dilin Wang

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of non-articulation on analyst earnings forecast quality. The authors look for evidence on the relationship between…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of non-articulation on analyst earnings forecast quality. The authors look for evidence on the relationship between non-articulation and analyst earnings forecast properties: forecast inaccuracy, forecast dispersion and forecast bias.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical tests are primarily based analyst earnings and cash flow forecasts covered by Institutional Broker Estimate System and financial statement information obtained from Compustat North America database.

Findings

The authors hypothesize and find that non-articulation is positively related to analyst forecast dispersion, forecast accuracy and forecast bias for one-year ahead of earnings. The effects of non-articulation on analyst earnings forecast inaccuracy and bias are neutralized when the analyst issues a cash flow forecast and when such forecast provides accurate information regarding the forecasted firm’s operating cash flow. On the other hand, cash flow forecast issuance alone does not mitigate the negative influence of non-articulation.

Research limitations/implications

The sample selection procedure limits the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

The findings confirm CFA Institute and prior research asserting that non-articulation deteriorates the quality of earnings forecasts by financial statement users (more specifically, the financial analysts). The authors add to the literature by documenting that accurate cash flow forecasts help analysts mitigate the negative influence of non-articulation on earnings forecast quality.

Originality/value

It remains an empirical question whether non-articulation between the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows has an effect on financial statement users’ ability to assimilate financial information. The paper highlights the detrimental effect of non-articulation by documenting the relationship between the non-articulation and the quality of earnings expectation.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Mohammed Abdullah Ammer and Nurwati A. Ahmad-Zaluki

Underpricing is one of the most important anomalies associated with initial public offerings (IPOs). The purpose of this paper is twofold; first, it examines the impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

Underpricing is one of the most important anomalies associated with initial public offerings (IPOs). The purpose of this paper is twofold; first, it examines the impact of underwriter’s market share and spread on the underpricing of IPOs; and second, it investigates the effect of management earnings forecasts bias and accuracy on the underpricing of IPOs.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 190 Malaysian IPOs listing on the main market of Bursa Malaysia from January 1, 2002 to February 29, 2012 was used and collected data were analyzed through univariate analysis and pooled ordinary least squares regression.

Findings

The empirical evidence shows that IPOs underwritten by underwriters as having high market share and charging low underwriting spread experience higher level of underpricing. The paper also finds that IPOs issued more biased earnings forecasts are related with severe underpricing. Finally, this paper reveals that the more accurate the earnings forecasts are, the more minimized will be the asymmetric information and hence, the less will be IPO underpricing.

Practical implications

The paper has some implications for policy makers, investors and underwriters. First, this study offers some insights for policy makers who are responsible for Malaysian financial markets current reforms. Further, knowing the importance of the economic outcomes of the earnings forecasts on underpricing for policy makers, they may adopt the findings in their discussion of costs of litigation and potential modifications in the requirements of issuing earnings forecasts. For the investors, findings may improve their understanding of equity valuation and for the underwriters, it would assist them in identifying underwriting cost.

Originality/value

This paper is considered the first study to extend IPO literature by investigating the relationships between underwriter’s market share, underwriter’s spread, earnings forecasts bias, earnings forecasts accuracy and IPO underpricing in an emerging country, such as Malaysia.

Details

International Journal of Managerial Finance, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1743-9132

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