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Do Insiders Manipulate Earnings When They Sell Their Shares in an Initial Public Offering?




In this article we examine whether insider share selling in an initial public offering (IPO) influences R&D expenditures. Insiders (managers and venture capitalists) who sell their pre-offering shareholdings might try to increase the IPO offer price (1) by overinvesting in R&D to signal the firm's prospects (the signaling hypothesis) or (2) by underinvesting in R&D to increase current reported earnings (the earnings fixation hypothesis). We find that, for a sample of 243 IPOs from 1986 to 1990, change in R&D spending in the year of the IPO is negatively related to managerial selling. Because reductions in R&D spending increase current earnings at the expense of future earnings, our evidence suggests that managers believe that investors place more emphasis on current earnings and less emphasis on R&D and therefore spend less on R&D. We also document a positive association between discretionary current accruals in the offering year and managerial selling, suggesting that selling managers manipulate accruals as well. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Masako Darrough & Srinivasan Rangan, 2005. "Do Insiders Manipulate Earnings When They Sell Their Shares in an Initial Public Offering?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 1-33, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:43:y:2005:i:1:p:1-33

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    Cited by:

    1. Esther B. Brio & Ilidio Lopes-e-Silva & Javier Perote, 2016. "Effects of opportunistic behaviors on security markets: an experimental approach to insider trading and earnings management," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 33(3), pages 379-402, December.
    2. Maria Jose Arcas & Caridad Martí, 2016. "Financial Performance Adjustment in English Local Governments," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 26(2), pages 141-152, June.
    3. Ming-Feng Hsu & Shiow-Ying Wen, 2015. "The Roles of Institutional Investors and Insiders in Earnings Management around Initial Public Offering Firms in Taiwan," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(2), pages 340-353.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:eee:intfin:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:92-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lou, Dong, 2009. "Attracting investor attention through advertising," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29311, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. repec:bbz:fcpbbr:v:9:y:2012:i:1:p:1-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Patrick Boisselier & Dominique Dufour, 2007. "Bulle financière et introduction des sociétés Internet au Nouveau marché," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie,, vol. 10(1), pages 67-93, March.
    9. Mohamed Chabchoub & Mansour Mrabet, 2007. "Gestion Du Resultat Et Introduction En Bourse : Cas Des Entreprises Tunisiennes," Post-Print halshs-00544954, HAL.
    10. Samah Rebai Azouz, 2011. "Les motivations de l'inscription des investissements en R&D à l'actif : Divulgation volontaire d'informations ou gestion des résultats ?," Post-Print hal-00650564, HAL.
    11. Sharon Katz, 2008. "Earnings Quality and Ownership Structure: The Role of Private Equity Sponsors," NBER Working Papers 14085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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.
    13. Cho, Jaemin & Lee, Jaeho, 2013. "The venture capital certification role in R&D: Evidence from IPO underpricing in Korea," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 83-108.
    14. Xiang Liu, 2014. "Venture capitalists and portfolio companies’ real activities manipulation," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 173-210, July.
    15. Lou, Dong, 2013. "Attracting investor attention through advertising," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54382, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Sharad Asthana & Steven Balsam, 2010. "The impact of changes in firm performance and risk on director turnover," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 244-263, August.
    17. Ke Zhong & Robert B. Welker & Donald W. Gribbin, 2010. "Method-Shifting in Aggressive Earnings Reporting: The Case of the US Software Industry's Response to New US Regulation," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7-8), pages 792-814.
    18. Li, Ting & Zaiats, Nataliya, 2017. "Information environment and earnings management of dual class firms around the world," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 1-23.
    19. Agrawal, Anup & Cooper, Tommy, 2015. "Insider trading before accounting scandals," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 169-190.
    20. Nagar, Neerav & Radhakrishnan, Suresh, 2015. "Firm Life Cycle and Real-Activity Based Earnings Management," IIMA Working Papers WP2015-12-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    21. Robert M. Hull & Sungkyu Kwak & Rosemary L. Walker, 2016. "Insider behavior and R&D changes around seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(2), pages 258-276, April.
    22. Braam, Geert & Nandy, Monomita & Weitzel, Utz & Lodh, Suman, 2015. "Accrual-based and real earnings management and political connections," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 111-141.
    23. repec:spr:reaccs:v:22:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11142-017-9412-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Paul Dunn & Barbara Sainty, 2009. "The relationship among board of director characteristics, corporate social performance and corporate financial performance," International Journal of Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(4), pages 407-423, September.

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