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The Extreme Future Stock Returns Following I/B/E/S Earnings Surprises

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  • JEFFREY T. DOYLE
  • RUSSELL J. LUNDHOLM
  • MARK T. SOLIMAN

Abstract

We investigate the stock returns subsequent to quarterly earnings surprises, where the benchmark for an earnings surprise is the consensus analyst forecast. By defining the surprise relative to an analyst forecast rather than a time-series model of expected earnings, we document returns subsequent to earnings announcements that are much larger, persist for much longer, and are more heavily concentrated in the long portion of the hedge portfolio than shown in previous studies. We show that our results hold after controlling for risk and previously documented anomalies, and are positive for every quarter between 1988 and 2000. Finally, we explore the financial results and information environment of firms with extreme earnings surprises and find that they tend to be "neglected" stocks with relatively high book-to-market ratios, low analyst coverage, and high analyst forecast dispersion. In the three subsequent years, firms with extreme positive earnings surprises tend to have persistent earnings surprises in the same direction, strong growth in cash flows and earnings, and large increases in analyst coverage, relative to firms with extreme negative earnings surprises. We also show that the returns to the earnings surprise strategy are highest in the quartile of firms where transaction costs are highest and institutional investor interest is lowest, consistent with the idea that market inefficiencies are more prevalent when frictions make it difficult for large, sophisticated investors to exploit the inefficiencies. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey T. Doyle & Russell J. Lundholm & Mark T. Soliman, 2006. "The Extreme Future Stock Returns Following I/B/E/S Earnings Surprises," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(5), pages 849-887, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:44:y:2006:i:5:p:849-887
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    2. repec:eee:jaecon:v:64:y:2017:i:1:p:167-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jacobs, Heiko, 2015. "What explains the dynamics of 100 anomalies?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 65-85.
    4. Allison Koester & Russell Lundholm & Mark Soliman, 2016. "Attracting Attention in a Limited Attention World: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Extreme Positive Earnings Surprises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(10), pages 2871-2896, October.
    5. Chudek, Mark & Truong, Cameron & Veeraraghavan, Madhu, 2011. "Is trading on earnings surprises a profitable strategy? Canadian evidence," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 832-850.
    6. Truong, Cameron, 2011. "Post-earnings announcement abnormal return in the Chinese equity market," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 637-661.
    7. Alissa, Walid & Bonsall, Samuel B. & Koharki, Kevin & Penn, Michael W., 2013. "Firms' use of accounting discretion to influence their credit ratings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 129-147.
    8. Jacob Thomas & Frank Zhang, 2007. "Tax Expense Surprises and Future Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2531, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2008.
    9. repec:taf:acctbr:v:39:y:2009:i:1:p:3-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Krauss, Christopher & Beerstecher, Daniel & Kr├╝ger, Tom, 2015. "Feasible earnings momentum in the U.S. stock market: An investor's perspective," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 12/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    11. 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.
    12. Davide Pettenuzzo & Riccardo Sabbatucci & Allan Timmermann, 2018. "High-frequency Cash Flow Dynamics," Working Papers 120, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    13. Zhang, Gaiyan & Zhang, Sanjian, 2013. "Information efficiency of the U.S. credit default swap market: Evidence from earnings surprises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 720-730.
    14. Truong, Cameron, 2010. "Post earnings announcement drift and the roles of drift-enhanced factors in New Zealand," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 139-157, April.

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