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Annual report readability, current earnings, and earnings persistence

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  • Li, Feng
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the relation between annual report readability and firm performance and earnings persistence. I measure the readability of public company annual reports using the Fog index from the computational linguistics literature and the length of the document. I find that: (1) the annual reports of firms with lower earnings are harder to read (i.e., they have a higher Fog index and are longer); and (2) firms with annual reports that are easier to read have more persistent positive earnings.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V87-4S01WFH-1/1/827459a3c01e36137cc89df27b3b1f41
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Accounting and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2-3 (August)
    Pages: 221-247

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:45:y:2008:i:2-3:p:221-247

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jae

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    References

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    1. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
    2. Aboody, David & Kasznik, Ron, 2000. "CEO stock option awards and the timing of corporate voluntary disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-100, February.
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    4. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
    5. Stephen P. Baginski & John M. Hassell & Michael D. Kimbrough, 2004. "Why Do Managers Explain Their Earnings Forecasts?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 1-29, 03.
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    7. Amy P. Hutton & Gregory S. Miller & Douglas J. Skinner, 2003. "The Role of Supplementary Statements with Management Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 867-890, December.
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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. Lawrence, Alastair, 2013. "Individual investors and financial disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 130-147.
    3. Dichev, Ilia D. & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R. & Rajgopal, Shiva, 2013. "Earnings quality: Evidence from the field," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 1-33.
    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. Bruce Tonn & Paul Frymier & Jared Graves & Jessa Meyers, 2010. "A Sustainable Energy Scenario for the United States: Year 2050," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(12), pages 3650-3680, November.
    6. Elizabeth Gordon & Elaine Henry & Marietta Peytcheva & Lili Sun, 2013. "Discretionary disclosure and the market reaction to restatements," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 75-110, July.
    7. Irani, Rustom M. & Oesch, David, 2013. "Monitoring and corporate disclosure: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 398-418.
    8. 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.
    9. Christian Leuz & Catherine Schrand, 2009. "Disclosure and the Cost of Capital: Evidence from Firms’ Responses to the Enron Shock," NBER Working Papers 14897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Biddle, Gary C. & Hilary, Gilles & Verdi, Rodrigo S., 2009. "How does financial reporting quality relate to investment efficiency?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2-3), pages 112-131, December.
    11. Sharma, Meenakshi, . "Ethics Statements on Websites of Indian Companies," IIMA Working Papers WP2014-05-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    12. Tim Loughran & Bill McDonald, 2014. "Regulation and financial disclosure: The impact of plain English," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 94-113, February.
    13. Bozanic, Zahn & Dirsmith, Mark W. & Huddart, Steven, 2012. "The social constitution of regulation: The endogenization of insider trading laws," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 461-481.
    14. Stephen Dempsey & David Harrison & Kimberly Luchtenberg & Michael Seiler, 2012. "Financial Opacity and Firm Performance: The Readability of REIT Annual Reports," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 450-470, August.
    15. Price, S. McKay & Doran, James S. & Peterson, David R. & Bliss, Barbara A., 2012. "Earnings conference calls and stock returns: The incremental informativeness of textual tone," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 992-1011.
    16. Stefan Arping & Zacharias Sautner, 2010. "Did the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 make Firms less Opaque? Evidence from Analyst Earnings Forecasts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-129/2/DSF 5, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Loughran, Tim & McDonald, Bill, 2013. "IPO first-day returns, offer price revisions, volatility, and form S-1 language," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 307-326.
    18. Hearn, Bruce, 2013. "The institutional determinants of IPO firm prospectus length in a developing context: A research note," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 52-65.

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