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Earnings Volatility, Cash Flow Volatility, and Informed Trading

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  • SUDARSHAN JAYARAMAN

Abstract

ABSTRACT I examine whether earnings that are smoother or more volatile than cash flows provide or garble information. Consistent with theories that predict more informed trading when public information is less informative, I find that bid-ask spreads and the probability of informed trading are higher both when earnings are smoother than cash flows and also when earnings are more volatile than cash flows. Additional tests suggest that managers' discretionary choices that lead to smoother or more volatile earnings than cash flows garble information, on average. However, I find that informed trading is attenuated in settings in which theory suggests that discretionary smoothing or volatizing of earnings is likely to be informative. Copyright (c), University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Sudarshan Jayaraman, 2008. "Earnings Volatility, Cash Flow Volatility, and Informed Trading," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 809-851, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:46:y:2008:i:4:p:809-851
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    Cited by:

    1. Aslan, Hadiye & Easley, David & Hvidkjaer, Soeren & O'Hara, Maureen, 2011. "The characteristics of informed trading: Implications for asset pricing," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 782-801.
    2. Gao, Lei & Zhang, Joseph H., 2015. "Firms’ earnings smoothing, corporate social responsibility, and valuation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 108-127.
    3. Persakis, Anthony & Iatridis, George Emmanuel, 2015. "Cost of capital, audit and earnings quality under financial crisis: A global empirical investigation," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 3-24.
    4. repec:eco:journ1:2017-02-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Michael O'Connor Keefe & James Tate & Henk Berkman, 2013. "Is the relationship between investment and conditional cash flow volatility ambiguous, asymmetric or both?," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(4), pages 913-947, December.
    6. Bardos, Katsiaryna Salavei, 2011. "Quality of financial information and liquidity," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 49-62, May.
    7. Persakis, Anthony & Iatridis, George Emmanuel, 2017. "The joint effect of investor protection, IFRS and earnings quality on cost of capital: An international study," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-29.
    8. Salomonsson, Marcus, 2009. "Introducing a spread into the Kyle model," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 713, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. 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.
    10. repec:prg:jnlpep:v:preprint:id:528 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Asli Ascioglu & Shantaram Hegde & Gopal Krishnan & John McDermott, 2012. "Earnings management and market liquidity," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 257-274, February.
    12. Al-Hadi, Ahmed & Taylor, Grantley & Al-Yahyaee, Khamis Hamed, 2016. "Ruling Family Political Connections and Risk Reporting: Evidence from the GCC," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 504-524.
    13. Haggard, K. Stephen & Howe, John S. & Lynch, Andrew A., 2015. "Do baths muddy the waters or clear the air?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 105-117.
    14. Antonio Cerqueira & Claudia Pereira, 2015. "Accounting Accruals and Information Asymmetry in Europe," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(6), pages 638-661.
    15. Deng, Lu & Li, Sifei & Liao, Mingqing & Wu, Weixing, 2013. "Dividends, investment and cash flow uncertainty: Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 112-124.
    16. Chung, Kee H. & Zhang, Hao, 2014. "A simple approximation of intraday spreads using daily data," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 94-120.
    17. Byun, Hae-Young & Hwang, Lee-Seok & Lee, Woo-Jong, 2011. "How does ownership concentration exacerbate information asymmetry among equity investors?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 511-534, November.
    18. Cosmin Octavian Cepoi & Filip Mihai Toma, 2016. "Estimating Probability of Informed Trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 66(2), pages 140-160, April.
    19. Isshaq, Zangina & Faff, Robert, 2016. "Does the uncertainty of firm-level fundamentals help explain cross-sectional differences in liquidity commonality?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 153-161.

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