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The Extreme Future Stock Returns Following I/B/E/S Earnings Surprises

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  • JEFFREY T. DOYLE
  • RUSSELL J. LUNDHOLM
  • MARK T. SOLIMAN
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    Abstract

    We investigate the stock returns subsequent to quarterly earnings surprises, where the benchmark for an earnings surprise is the consensus analyst forecast. By defining the surprise relative to an analyst forecast rather than a time-series model of expected earnings, we document returns subsequent to earnings announcements that are much larger, persist for much longer, and are more heavily concentrated in the long portion of the hedge portfolio than shown in previous studies. We show that our results hold after controlling for risk and previously documented anomalies, and are positive for every quarter between 1988 and 2000. Finally, we explore the financial results and information environment of firms with extreme earnings surprises and find that they tend to be "neglected" stocks with relatively high book-to-market ratios, low analyst coverage, and high analyst forecast dispersion. In the three subsequent years, firms with extreme positive earnings surprises tend to have persistent earnings surprises in the same direction, strong growth in cash flows and earnings, and large increases in analyst coverage, relative to firms with extreme negative earnings surprises. We also show that the returns to the earnings surprise strategy are highest in the quartile of firms where transaction costs are highest and institutional investor interest is lowest, consistent with the idea that market inefficiencies are more prevalent when frictions make it difficult for large, sophisticated investors to exploit the inefficiencies. 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): 5 (December)
    Pages: 849-887

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:44:y:2006:i:5:p:849-887

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    Cited by:
    1. 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.
    2. Jacob Thomas & Frank Zhang, 2007. "Tax Expense Surprises and Future Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2531, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2008.
    3. Alissa, Walid & Bonsall, Samuel B. & Koharki, Kevin & Penn, Michael W., 2013. "Firms' use of accounting discretion to influence their credit ratings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 129-147.
    4. Truong, Cameron, 2010. "Post earnings announcement drift and the roles of drift-enhanced factors in New Zealand," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 139-157, April.
    5. Zhang, Gaiyan & Zhang, Sanjian, 2013. "Information efficiency of the U.S. credit default swap market: Evidence from earnings surprises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 720-730.

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