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Predicting Stock Market Returns with Aggregate Discretionary Accruals

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  • QIANG KANG
  • QIAO LIU
  • RONG QI

Abstract

We find that the positive relation between aggregate accruals and one‐year‐ahead market returns documented in Hirshleifer, Hou, and Teoh [2009] is driven by discretionary accruals but not normal accruals. The return forecasting power of aggregate discretionary accruals is robust to choices of sample periods, return measurements, estimation methods, business condition and risk premium proxies, and accrual models used to isolate discretionary accruals. Our extensive analysis shows that aggregate discretionary accruals, in sharp contrast to aggregate normal accruals, contain little information about overall business conditions or aggregate cash flows and display little co‐movement with ICAPM‐motivated risk premium proxies. Our findings imply that aggregate discretionary accruals likely reflect aggregate fluctuations in earnings management, thereby favoring the behavioral explanation that managers time aggregate equity markets to report earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Qiang Kang & Qiao Liu & Rong Qi, 2010. "Predicting Stock Market Returns with Aggregate Discretionary Accruals," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 815-858, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:48:y:2010:i:4:p:815-858
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-679X.2010.00379.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-679X.2010.00379.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Yaniv Konchitchki & Yan Luo & Mary L. Z. Ma & Feng Wu, 2016. "Accounting-based downside risk, cost of capital, and the macroeconomy," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-36, March.
    2. Choi, Jung Ho & Kalay, Alon & Sadka, Gil, 2016. "Earnings news, expected earnings, and aggregate stock returns," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 110-143.
    3. Andrei Salem Gonçalves & Robert Aldo Iquiapaza & Aureliano Angel Bressan, 2012. "Latent Fundamentals Arbitrage with a Mixed Effects Factor Model," Brazilian Review of Finance, Brazilian Society of Finance, vol. 10(3), pages 317-335.
    4. Jeremy Bertomeu, 2013. "Discussion of Earnings Manipulation and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 475-493, May.
    5. Xanthi Gkougkousi, 2014. "Aggregate Earnings and Corporate Bond Markets," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 75-106, March.
    6. Hui Guo & Xiaowen Jiang, 2011. "Accruals and the Conditional Equity Premium," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 187-221, March.
    7. Haga, Jesper & Ittonen, Kim & Tronnes, Per C. & Wong, Leon, 2018. "Is earnings management sensitive to discount rates?," Journal of Accounting Literature, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 75-88.
    8. Chad R. Larson & Richard Sloan & Jenny Zha Giedt, 2018. "Defining, measuring, and modeling accruals: a guide for researchers," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 827-871, September.
    9. Yaowen Shan & Stephen Taylor & Terry Walter, 2013. "Fundamentals or Managerial Discretion? The Relationship between Accrual Variability and Future Stock Return Volatility," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 49(4), pages 441-475, December.
    10. S. P. Kothari & Charles Wasley, 2019. "Commemorating the 50‐Year Anniversary of Ball and Brown (1968): The Evolution of Capital Market Research over the Past 50 Years," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(5), pages 1117-1159, December.

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