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Why Do Managers Explain Their Earnings Forecasts?

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  • STEPHEN P. BAGINSKI
  • JOHN M. HASSELL
  • MICHAEL D. KIMBROUGH
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    Abstract

    Managers often explain their earnings forecasts by linking forecasted performance to their internal actions and the actions of parties external to the firm. These attributions potentially aid investors in the interpretation of management forecasts by confirming known relationships between attributions and profitability or by identifying additional causes that investors should consider when forecasting earnings. We investigate why managers choose to provide attributions with their forecasts and whether the attributions are related to security price reactions to management earnings forecasts. Using a sample of 951 management earnings forecasts issued from 1993 to 1996, we find that attributions are more likely for larger firms, less likely for firms in regulated industries, less likely for forecasts issued over longer horizons, more likely for bad news forecasts, and more likely for forecasts that are maximum type. Furthermore, attributions are associated with greater absolute price reactions to management forecasts, more negative price reactions to management forecasts (forecast news held constant), and a greater price reaction per dollar of unexpected earnings. Our findings hold after control for the aforementioned determinants of attributions and after control for other firm- and forecast-specific variables that are often associated with security prices. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2004.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Accounting Research.

    Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 (03)
    Pages: 1-29

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:42:y:2004:i:1:p:1-29

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    Cited by:
    1. Wenxia Ge & G. Whitmore, 2010. "Binary response and logistic regression in recent accounting research publications: a methodological note," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 81-93, January.
    2. Thomas Jeanjean & Hervé Stolowy & Michael Erkens, 2012. "Economic consequences of adopting English for annual reports," Post-Print hal-00690931, HAL.
    3. Stolowy, Hervé & Jeanjean, Thomas & Erkens, Michael, 2011. "The economic consequences of increasing the international visibility of financial reports," Les Cahiers de Recherche 957, HEC Paris.
    4. Heitzman, Shane & Wasley, Charles & Zimmerman, Jerold, 2010. "The joint effects of materiality thresholds and voluntary disclosure incentives on firms' disclosure decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 109-132, February.
    5. Li, Feng, 2008. "Annual report readability, current earnings, and earnings persistence," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 221-247, August.
    6. Jordi Perramon & Oriol Amat, 2006. "IFRS introduction and its effect on listed companies in Spain," Economics Working Papers 975, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Rogers, Jonathan L. & Van Buskirk, Andrew, 2013. "Bundled forecasts in empirical accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 43-65.
    8. Steven Kaplan & James McElroy & Susan Ravenscroft & Charles Shrader, 2007. "Moral Judgment and Causal Attributions: Consequences of Engaging in Earnings Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 149-164, August.
    9. Sandip Dhole & Sagarika Mishra & K. Sivaramakrishnan, . "Benchmark for Earnings Performance: Management Forecasts versus Analysts’ Forecasts," Financial Econometics Series 2012_06, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
    10. Niamh M. Brennan & Encarna Guillamon-Saorin & Aileen Pierce, 2009. "Methodological Insights: Impression management: Developing and illustrating a scheme of analysis for narrative disclosures – a methodological note," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(5), pages 789-832, July.
    11. Barton, Jan & Mercer, Molly, 2005. "To blame or not to blame: Analysts' reactions to external explanations for poor financial performance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 509-533, September.
    12. Brockman, Paul & Khurana, Inder K. & Martin, Xiumin, 2008. "Voluntary disclosures around share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 175-191, July.
    13. Beyer, Anne & Cohen, Daniel A. & Lys, Thomas Z. & Walther, Beverly R., 2010. "The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 296-343, December.
    14. Angela K. Davis & Jeremy M. Piger & Lisa M. Sedor, 2006. "Beyond the numbers: an analysis of optimistic and pessimistic language in earnings press releases," Working Papers 2006-005, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    15. Mark Bagnoli & Stanley Levine & Susan G. Watts, 2005. "Analyst estimation revision clusters and corporate events, Part I," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 245-265, 08.
    16. Bloomfield, Robert, 2008. "Discussion of "Annual report readability, current earnings, and earnings persistence"," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 248-252, August.
    17. Iatridis, George & Kadorinis, George, 2009. "Earnings management and firm financial motives: A financial investigation of UK listed firms," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 164-173, September.
    18. Stephen Baginski & John Hassell & Michael Kimbrough, 2008. "Macro information environment change and the quality of management earnings forecasts," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 311-330, October.

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