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Krull (2004) finds that US multinational corporations (MNCs) increase amounts designated as permanently reinvested earnings (PRE) to maximize reported after-tax earnings…
Krull (2004) finds that US multinational corporations (MNCs) increase amounts designated as permanently reinvested earnings (PRE) to maximize reported after-tax earnings and meet earnings targets. We extend this research by examining the relationship between executive equity compensation and the opportunistic use of PRE by US MNCs, and the market reaction to earnings management using PRE designations. Firms use equity compensation to incentivize executives to strive for maximum shareholder wealth. One unintended consequence is that executives may engage in earnings management activities to increase their equity compensation. In this study, we examine whether the equity incentives of management are associated with an increased use of PRE. We predict and find strong evidence that the changes in PRE are positively associated with the portion of top managers' compensation that is tied to stock performance. In addition, we find this relationship to be strongest for firms that meet or beat forecasts, but only with the use of PRE to inflate income, suggesting that equity compensation incentivizes managers to opportunistically use PRE, especially to meet analyst forecasts.
Further, we provide evidence that investors react negatively to beating analysts' forecasts with the use of PRE, suggesting that investors find this behavior opportunistic and not fully convincing. This chapter makes an important contribution to what we know about the joint effects of tax policy, generally accepted accounting principles, and incentive compensation on the earnings reporting process.
In this chapter we analyze how the designation of foreign earnings as “permanently reinvested” outside the US (PRE) is related to subsequent firm growth and market…
In this chapter we analyze how the designation of foreign earnings as “permanently reinvested” outside the US (PRE) is related to subsequent firm growth and market returns. Prior research suggests that firms that hold excess cash in foreign markets to avoid the US corporate income tax experience lower growth, since such “trapped” cash is inefficiently invested. However, foreign earnings can be inefficiently invested in forms other than cash. We hypothesize and find that as the ratio of PRE to total assets increases, firms' growth rates decline. Our results suggest that trapped earnings, and not just trapped cash, are associated with lower growth. Because PRE have also been associated with earnings management in the literature, we further analyze the association between the use of PRE to meet or beat earnings targets and subsequent growth, observing a significant and persistent negative association. Finally, we note that the market discount for PRE, and especially for the use of PRE to manage earnings, appears to be relatively small. Our results provide support for FASB's stated plans to increase disclosure requirements surrounding the tax accrual.