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Analysts' Conflict of Interest and Biases in Earnings Forecasts

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  • Louis K. C. Chan
  • Jason Karceski
  • Josef Lakonishok
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    Abstract

    Analysts' earnings forecasts are influenced by their desire to win investment banking clients. We hypothesize that the equity bull market of the 1990s, along with the boom in investment banking business, exacerbated analysts' conflict of interest and their incentives to adjust strategically forecasts to avoid earnings disappointments. We document shifts in the distribution of earnings surprises, the market's response to surprises and forecast revisions, and in the predictability of non-negative surprises. Further confirmation is based on subsamples where conflicts of interest are more pronounced, including growth stocks and stocks with consecutive non-negative surprises; however shifts are less notable in international markets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9544.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9544

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    1. Jay Ritter & Ivo Welch, 2002. "A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing, and Allocations," NBER Working Papers 8805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Krigman, Laurie & Shaw, Wayne H. & Womack, Kent L., 2001. "Why do firms switch underwriters?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 245-284, May.
    3. Fried, Dov & Givoly, Dan, 1982. "Financial analysts' forecasts of earnings : A better surrogate for market expectations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 85-107, October.
    4. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. " Good News for Value Stocks: Further Evidence on Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 859-74, June.
    5. Degeorge, Francois & Patel, Jayendu & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1999. "Earnings Management to Exceed Thresholds," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-33, January.
    6. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2003. "Analyzing the Analysts: Career Concerns and Biased Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 313-351, 02.
    7. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-86.
    8. Mola, Simona & Loughran, Tim, 2004. "Discounting and Clustering in Seasoned Equity Offering Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 1-23, March.
    9. Busse, Jeffrey A. & Clifton Green, T., 2002. "Market efficiency in real time," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 415-437, September.
    10. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
    11. Bartov, Eli & Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2002. "The rewards to meeting or beating earnings expectations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-204, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alexander Ljungqvist & Felicia Marston & William J. Wilhelm, 2006. "Competing for Securities Underwriting Mandates: Banking Relationships and Analyst Recommendations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 301-340, 02.
    2. Guido BOLLIGER & Manuel KAST, 2003. "Executive Compensation and Analyst Guidance: The Link between CEO Pay and Expectations Management," FAME Research Paper Series rp102, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
    3. Kross, William J. & Ro, Byung T. & Suk, Inho, 2011. "Consistency in meeting or beating earnings expectations and management earnings forecasts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 37-57, February.
    4. Li, Dan & Li, Geng, 2014. "Are Household Investors Noise Traders: Evidence from Belief Dispersion and Stock Trading Volume," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Malmendier, Ulrike & Shanthikumar, Devin, 2007. "Are small investors naive about incentives?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 457-489, August.

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