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Accruals, Cash Flows and the Post-Earnings-Announcement Drift


  • Lakshmanan shivakumar


Several prior studies have shown that cash flows have significantly greater impact on stock prices than accruals. We examine the implications of these findings for the post-earnings-announcement-drift anomaly. We argue that, if investors under-react to earnings news, then the larger price impact of cash flows causes the cash flow component of earnings news to predict future returns better than the accruals component. Consistent with this argument, we show that unexpected cash flows are more positively related to future returns, than are unexpected accruals. Also, unexpected cash flows are found to predict future returns above and beyond that predicted by earnings surprises. Finally, we show that a strategy that decomposes earnings news into its components significantly outperforms strategies based on earnings news alone. The results support under-reaction explanations for the drift. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Lakshmanan shivakumar, 2006. "Accruals, Cash Flows and the Post-Earnings-Announcement Drift," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1-2), pages 1-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:33:y:2006-01:i:1-2:p:1-25

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    Cited by:

    1. Eli Amir & Itay Kama & Shai Levi, 2015. "Conditional Persistence of Earnings Components and Accounting Anomalies," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(7-8), pages 801-825, September.
    2. repec:nbp:nbpbik:v:48:y:2017:i:2:p:173-196 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Shuping Chen & Jake Thomas & Frank Zhang, 2016. "Spring-loading future performance when no one is looking? Earnings and cash flow management around acquisitions," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 1081-1115, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Christoph Kaserer & Carmen Klingler, 2008. "The Accrual Anomaly Under Different Accounting Standards - Lessons Learned from the German Experiment," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(7-8), pages 837-859.

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