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Highly Valued Equity and Discretionary Accruals

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  • Robert E. Houmes
  • Terrance R. Skantz
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    Abstract

    Overvalued equity provides a strong incentive for managers to report earnings that do not disappoint the market ( Jensen, 2005 ). We find that this can be extended to highly valued equity more generally. In the year following the classification as highly valued and compared to firms with less extreme valuations, highly valued firms have significantly higher discretionary accruals and exhibit a more pronounced positive association between discretionary accruals and proxies for the likelihood of failing to meet earnings targets. These findings are consistent with the use of discretionary accruals to manage earnings in support of extreme valuation. Because highly valued equity will likely result in CEOs with valuable stock and stock option portfolios, we test whether and show that the overvalued equity incentive is incremental to a CEO's equity portfolio incentive. One implication is that directors and audit committees should be especially on guard for possible earnings management when a firm has extremely high valuation multiples and when the CEO has a lot of equity at risk. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2010-01)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
    Pages: 60-92

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:37:y:2010-01:i:1-2:p:60-92

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0306-686X

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    1. Hirshleifer, David & Hou, Kewei & Teoh, Siew Hong & Zhang, Yinglei, 2004. "Do Investors Overvalue Firms with Bloated Balance Sheets?," Working Paper Series 2004-18, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    2. Keith Anderson & Chris Brooks, 2006. "The Long-Term Price-Earnings Ratio," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(7-8), pages 1063-1086.
    3. Muurling, Rutger & Lehnert, Thorsten, 2004. "Option-based compensation: a survey," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 365-401.
    4. Juan Manuel García Lara & Beatriz García Osma & Araceli Mora, 2005. "The Effect of Earnings Management on the Asymmetric Timeliness of Earnings," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3-4), pages 691-726.
    5. Hamid Mehran & Joseph Tracy, 2001. "The effect of employee stock options on the evolution of compensation in the 1990s," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 17-34.
    6. Basu, S, 1977. "Investment Performance of Common Stocks in Relation to Their Price-Earnings Ratios: A Test of the Efficient Market Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 663-82, June.
    7. Xin Chang & André F. Gygax & Elaine Oon & Hong Feng Zhang, 2008. "Audit quality, auditor compensation and initial public offering underpricing," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 48(3), pages 391-416.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christiane Pott & Tobias Tebben & Christoph Watrin, 2014. "The effect of outside directors’ and auditors’ incentives on managers’ ability to manage cash bonuses," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 505-540, May.

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