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Driven to distraction: Extraneous events and underreaction to earnings news

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  • Hirshleifer, David
  • Lim, Sonya Seongyeon
  • Teoh, Siew Hong

Abstract

Psychological evidence indicates that it is hard to process multiple stimuli and perform multiple tasks at the same time. This paper tests the INVESTOR DISTRACTION HYPOTHESIS, which holds that the arrival of extraneous news causes trading and market prices to react sluggishly to relevant news about a firm. Our test focuses on the competition for investor attention between a firm's earnings announcements and the earnings announcements of other firms. We find that the immediate stock price and volume reaction to a firm's earnings surprise is weaker, and post-earnings announcement drift is stronger, when a greater number of earnings announcements by other firms are made on the same day. Distracting news has a stronger effect on firms that receive positive than negative earnings surprises. Industry-unrelated news has a stronger distracting effect than related news. A trading strategy that exploits post-earnings announcement drift is unprofitable for announcements made on days with little competing news.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3110.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2006
Date of revision: 16 Apr 2007
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3110

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Related research

Keywords: limited attention; behavioral finance; investor psychology; capital markets; post-earnings announcement drift; market efficiency;

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  1. Kewei Hou & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2005. "Market Frictions, Price Delay, and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 981-1020.
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  7. Hirshleifer, David & Lim, Seongyeon & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2004. "Disclosure to an Audience with Limited Attention," Working Paper Series 2004-21, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
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  12. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2006. "Costly Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1043-1068, September.
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  14. Brennan, Michael J & Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Swaminathan, Bhaskaran, 1993. "Investment Analysis and the Adjustment of Stock Prices to Common Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 799-824.
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