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An Analysis of the Theories and Explanations Offered for the Mispricing of Accruals and Accrual Components

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  • ARTHUR KRAFT
  • ANDREW J. LEONE
  • CHARLES WASLEY

Abstract

Numerous accounting studies claim that investors fail to rationally price accrual-related information and that investors are functionally fixated. This study documents the importance of performing robustness tests when testing economic or behavioral explanations for apparent accounting-related security mispricing. We find that performing robustness tests that exclude a small number of firm-year observations (approximately 200 firm-year observations or about 1% of the entire sample) reveals an inverted U-shaped relation between buy-and-hold abnormal returns and total accruals. An inverted U-shaped relation is inconsistent with the functional fixation (earnings fixation) hypothesis. We conduct similar robustness tests for the abnormal accrual anomaly and the net operating assets anomaly proposed by other investigators, and also find an inverted U-shaped relation between buy-and-hold abnormal returns and abnormal accruals and net operating assets. These findings are inconsistent with the explanations put forth by those investigators. Such evidence leads us to conclude that the accrual-related anomalies are unlikely to be due to investors' inability to process accounting information, as suggested by the functional fixation hypotheses tested. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 44 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 297-339

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Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:297-339

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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. Chih-Jen Huang, 2010. "The joint decision to manage earnings through discretionary accruals and asset sales around insider trading: Taiwan evidence," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 308-325, July.
  3. Norio Kitagawa & Akinobu Shuto, 2013. "Credibility of Management Earnings Forecasts and Future Returns," Discussion Paper Series DP2013-30, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  4. Beaver, William & McNichols, Maureen & Price, Richard, 2007. "Delisting returns and their effect on accounting-based market anomalies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 341-368, July.
  5. Richardson, Scott & Tuna, Irem & Wysocki, Peter, 2010. "Accounting anomalies and fundamental analysis: A review of recent research advances," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 410-454, December.
  6. Marina Balboa & Germán López-Espinosa & Antonio Rubia, 2012. "Non-linear Dynamics in Discretionary Accruals: An Analysis of Bank Loan-Loss Provisions," Faculty Working Papers 06/12, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  7. Koon Boon Kee, 2011. "Why ‘Democracy’ anD ‘Drifter’ firms can have abnormal returns: the Joint importance of corporate Governance anD abnormal accruals in separatinG Winners from losers," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 3-55.
  8. Imen Khanchel El Mehdi, 2014. "Accrual and cash flow anomalies in diversified firms: Impact of segment portfolio management," Working Papers 2014-076, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  9. Yakup Ergincan, 2011. "Mobile Corporate Governance: A Model Proposal For Modern Corporate Governance And Investor Relations," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 171-200.
  10. Balboa, Marina & López-Espinosa, Germán & Rubia, Antonio, 2013. "Nonlinear dynamics in discretionary accruals: An analysis of bank loan-loss provisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5186-5207.
  11. Johnston, Rick & Leone, Andrew J. & Ramnath, Sundaresh & Yang, Ya-wen, 2012. "14-Week quarters," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 271-289.

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