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Does Silence Speak? An Empirical Analysis of Disclosure Choices During Conference Calls




ABSTRACT In this paper, we exploit the open nature of conference calls to explore whether managers withhold information from the investing public. Our evidence suggests that managers regularly leave participants on the conference call in the dark by not answering their questions. We find that the best predictors of such an event are firm size, a CEO's stock price-based incentives, company age, firm performance, litigation risk, and whether analysts are actively involved during the call's Q&A section. Finally, we document strong support for the assumption maintained in the literature that investors interpret silence negatively. That is, investors seem to interpret no news as bad news. Copyright (c), University of Chicago on behalf of the Accounting Research Center, 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Hollander & Maarten Pronk & Erik Roelofsen, 2010. "Does Silence Speak? An Empirical Analysis of Disclosure Choices During Conference Calls," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 531-563, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:48:y:2010:i:3:p:531-563

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    Cited by:

    1. Ann Ling-Ching Chan & Edward Lee & Jirada Petaibanlue & Ning Tan, 2017. "Do board interlocks motivate voluntary disclosure? Evidence from Taiwan," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 441-466, February.
    2. Xi Li & Amir N. Licht & Christopher Poliquin & Jordan I. Siegel, 2015. "What Makes the Bonding Stick? A Natural Experiment Involving the U.S. Supreme Court and Cross-Listed Firms," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-19, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2015.
    3. Ferguson, Andrew & Scott, Tom, 2011. "Market reactions to Australian boutique resource investor presentations," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 330-338.
    4. Andrew Ferguson & Tom Scott & Neil Fargher, 2016. "The determinants and market reaction to Open Briefings: an investor relations option and evidence on the effectiveness of disclosure," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(3), pages 803-843, September.
    5. repec:eee:jbfina:v:82:y:2017:i:c:p:59-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. James Cicon, 2017. "Say it again Sam: the information content of corporate conference calls," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 57-81, January.
    7. Hassan, Tarek & Hollander, Stephan & Tahoun, Ahmed & van Lent, Laurence, 2017. "Firm-level political risk: Measurement and effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 12436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Michał Dzieliński & Alexander F. Wagner & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2017. "Straight Talkers and Vague Talkers: The Effects of Managerial Style in Earnings Conference Calls," NBER Working Papers 23425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jannis Bischof & Holger Daske & Christoph Sextroh, 2014. "Fair Value-related Information in Analysts’ Decision Processes: Evidence from the Financial Crisis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3-4), pages 363-400, April.
    10. Ferguson, Andrew & Feigin, Alexey & Kean, Stephen, 2013. "Gold mine feasibility study disclosure in Australia: Determinants and implications," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 8-17.
    11. Duro, Miguel & Heese, Jonas & Ormazabal, Gaizka, 2017. "Does the Public Disclosure of the SEC's Oversight Actions Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Vlittis, Adamos & Charitou, Melita, 2013. "The effect of conference calls on equity incentives: An empirical investigation," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 80-91.
    13. Thorsten Knauer & Arnt Wöhrmann, 2010. "Rahmenbedingungen, Charakteristika und Konsequenzen freiwilliger Unternehmenspublizität – State of the Art und neue Perspektiven der empirischen Forschung," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 235-254, November.
    14. Li, Feng & Minnis, Michael & Nagar, Venky & Rajan, Madhav, 2014. "Knowledge, compensation, and firm value: An empirical analysis of firm communication," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 96-116.
    15. Sung Gon Chung & Beng Wee Goh & Jeffrey Ng & Kevin Ow Yong, 2017. "Voluntary fair value disclosures beyond SFAS 157’s three-level estimates," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 430-468, March.
    16. Michaely, Roni & Rubin, Amir & Vedrashko, Alexander, 2016. "Further evidence on the strategic timing of earnings news: Joint analysis of weekdays and times of day," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 24-45.
    17. repec:eee:aosoci:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:15-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Lauren Cohen & Dong Lou & Christopher Malloy, 2013. "Playing Favorites: How Firms Prevent the Revelation of Bad News," NBER Working Papers 19429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Siougle, Georgia & Spyrou, Spyros I. & Tsekrekos, Andrianos E., 2014. "Conference calls around merger and acquisition announcements: Do they reduce information asymmetry? UK Evidence," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 148-172.
    20. repec:eee:jaecon:v:64:y:2017:i:1:p:56-77 is not listed on IDEAS

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