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Do Expert Informational Intermediaries Add Value? Evidence from Auditors in Microcap Initial Public Offerings

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  • Joseph Weber
  • Michael Willenborg

Abstract

Do expert informational intermediaries add value? We address this question by examining the informativeness of the audit report contained in the prospectus associated with a firm's initial public offering (IPO). At the time of the IPO, there is a relative lack of information to facilitate the establishment of equity values, suggesting that the information provided by outside "experts" (e.g., auditors, underwriters) is particularly important. In this article we study small, non-venture-backed IPOs, a segment of the market with the poorest long-run performance and where the prestigious audit firm is often the sole (if any) expert present. We find that the pre-IPO opinions of larger auditors are more predictive of post-IPO negative stock delistings. Of particular note, the opinions of the national-tiered firms are comparably predictive to those of the Big 6, though this finding emerges only after we consider the selectivity-based differences in the clients that hire these national firms. Our findings also indicate that, for larger auditors the presence of a pre-IPO going-concern opinion is more strongly associated with first-year stock returns and that larger auditors are more likely to give such opinions to their distressed clients. Overall, we address a deficiency in the literature relating to "the paucity of evidence on the value of auditor opinions to investors" (Healy and Palepu [ 2001 p. 415]). Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Weber & Michael Willenborg, 2003. "Do Expert Informational Intermediaries Add Value? Evidence from Auditors in Microcap Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 681-720, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:681-720
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Smolarski & Neil Wilner & Weifang Yang, 2011. "The use of financial information by private equity funds in evaluating new investments," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(1), pages 46-68, February.
    2. repec:eee:advacc:v:31:y:2015:i:1:p:11-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Guay, Wayne R. & Weber, Joseph P., 2010. "The role of information and financial reporting in corporate governance and debt contracting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 179-234, December.
    4. DeFond, Mark L. & Lennox, Clive S., 2011. "The effect of SOX on small auditor exits and audit quality," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 21-40, June.
    5. Taffler, Richard J. & Lu, Jeffrey & Kausar, Asad, 2004. "In denial? Stock market underreaction to going-concern audit report disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 263-296, December.
    6. Philip Brown & Andrew Ferguson & Kate Stone, 2008. "Share Purchase Plans in Australia: Issuer Characteristics and Valuation Implications," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 33(2), pages 307-332, December.
    7. Kaplan, Steven E. & Williams, David D., 2012. "The changing relationship between audit firm size and going concern reporting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 322-341.
    8. Dambra, Michael & Field, Laura Casares & Gustafson, Matthew T., 2015. "The JOBS Act and IPO volume: Evidence that disclosure costs affect the IPO decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 121-143.
    9. Larcker, David F. & Rusticus, Tjomme O., 2010. "On the use of instrumental variables in accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 186-205, April.
    10. C├ęcile Carpentier & Jean-Marc Suret, 2009. "The Survival and Success of Canadian Penny Stock IPOs," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-28, CIRANO.
    11. repec:eee:advacc:v:29:y:2013:i:2:p:171-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Nilabhra Bhattacharya & Elizabeth Demers & Philip Joos, 2010. "The Relevance of Accounting Information in a Stock Market Bubble: Evidence from Internet IPOs," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3-4), pages 291-321.
    13. repec:fan:frfrfr:v:html10.3280/fr2017-001003 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Re-Jin Guo & Nan Zhou, 2016. "Innovation capability and post-IPO performance," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 335-357, February.
    15. Chang, Xin & Dasgupta, Sudipto & Hilary, Gilles, 2005. "The Effect of Auditor Choice on Financing Decisions," CEI Working Paper Series 2005-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    16. DeFond, Mark & Zhang, Jieying, 2014. "A review of archival auditing research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 275-326.

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