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Making Sense of Cents: An Examination of Firms That Marginally Miss or Beat Analyst Forecasts

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  • SANJEEV BHOJRAJ
  • PAUL HRIBAR
  • MARC PICCONI
  • JOHN McINNIS
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the performance consequences of cutting discretionary expenditures and managing accruals to exceed analyst forecasts. We show that firms that just beat analyst forecasts with low quality earnings exhibit a short-term stock price benefit relative to firms that miss forecasts with high quality earnings. This trend, however, reverses over a 3-year horizon. Additionally, firms reducing discretionary expenditures to beat forecasts have significantly greater equity issuances and insider selling in the following year, consistent with managers understanding the myopic nature of their actions. Our results confirm survey evidence suggesting managers engage in myopic behavior to beat benchmarks. Copyright (c) 2009 the American Finance Association.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 2361-2388

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:64:y:2009:i:5:p:2361-2388

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    Cited by:
    1. Dechow, Patricia & Ge, Weili & Schrand, Catherine, 2010. "Understanding earnings quality: A review of the proxies, their determinants and their consequences," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 344-401, December.
    2. Wang, Weishen & Graefe-Anderson, Rachel & Pyles, Mark K. & Kim, Dongnyoung, 2014. "How entrenched managers beat earnings expectations before and after SOX," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 82-91.
    3. Koch, Adam S. & Lefanowicz, Craig E. & Robinson, John R., 2012. "The effect of quarterly earnings guidance on share values in corporate acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1269-1285.
    4. Chan, Konan & Ikenberry, David L. & Lee, Inmoo & Wang, Yanzhi, 2010. "Share repurchases as a potential tool to mislead investors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 137-158, April.
    5. Eric Zitzewitz, 2012. "Forensic Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 731-69, September.
    6. Masahiro Enomoto & Fumihiko Kimura & Tomoyasu Yamaguchi, 2012. "Accrual-Based and Real Earnings Management: An International Comparison for Investor Protection," Discussion Paper Series DP2012-13, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Mar 2013.
    7. Gao, Huasheng & Harford, Jarrad & Li, Kai, 2013. "Determinants of corporate cash policy: Insights from private firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 623-639.
    8. Ge, Wenxia & Kim, Jeong-Bon, 2014. "Real earnings management and the cost of new corporate bonds," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 641-647.
    9. Asker, John & Farre-Mensa, Joan & Ljungqvist, Alexander P., 2010. "Does the Stock Market Harm Investment Incentives?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Alex Edmans & Vivian W. Fang & Katharina A. Lewellen, 2013. "Equity Vesting and Managerial Myopia," NBER Working Papers 19407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Rihab Guidara & Younes Boujelbene, 2014. "Earnings Management around Research and Development Manipulation," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 30-41, April.
    12. Rihab Guidara & Younes Boujelbene, 2014. "Earnings Management around Research and Development Manipulation," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 26-37, April.
    13. Yim, Andrew, 2013. "Mixture and Continuous 'Discontinuity' Hypotheses: An Earnings Management Model with Auditor-Required Adjustment," MPRA Paper 44702, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. McInnis, John & Collins, Daniel W., 2011. "The effect of cash flow forecasts on accrual quality and benchmark beating," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 219-239, April.
    15. MIYAKAWA Daisuke & TAKIZAWA Miho, 2013. "Performance of Newly Listed Firms: Evidence from Japanese firm and venture capital data," Discussion papers 13019, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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