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The Role of Anchoring Bias in the Equity Market: Evidence from Analysts’ Earnings Forecasts and Stock Returns

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  • Cen, Ling
  • Hilary, Gilles
  • Wei, K. C. John

Abstract

We test the implications of anchoring bias associated with forecast earnings per share (FEPS) for forecast errors, earnings surprises, stock returns, and stock splits. We find that analysts make optimistic (pessimistic) forecasts when a firm’s FEPS is lower (higher) than the industry median. Further, firms with FEPS greater (lower) than the industry median experience abnormally high (low) future stock returns, particularly around subsequent earnings announcement dates. These firms are also more likely to engage in stock splits. Finally, split firms experience more positive forecast revisions, more negative forecast errors, and more negative earnings surprises after stock splits.

Suggested Citation

  • Cen, Ling & Hilary, Gilles & Wei, K. C. John, 2013. "The Role of Anchoring Bias in the Equity Market: Evidence from Analysts’ Earnings Forecasts and Stock Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 47-76, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:48:y:2013:i:01:p:47-76_00
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