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Financial distress prediction by combining sentiment tone features


  • Zhao, Shuping
  • Xu, Kai
  • Wang, Zhao
  • Liang, Changyong
  • Lu, Wenxing
  • Chen, Bo


In addition to financial features, we propose a novel framework that combines sentiment tone features extracted from comments on online stock forums, management discussion and analysis, and financial statement notes, to predict financial distress. We evaluate the proposed framework using data from the Chinese stock market between 2016 and 2020. We find that financially distressed companies are more likely to have weak sentiment tones as investors have a negative attitude toward the operation and financial status of the companies, while normal companies are to the contrary. Additionally, the sentiment tones of comments within one month most effectively reflect such correlations. We recommend incorporating sentiment tone features as they contribute to predictive performance improvements of all models using financial features only, and using the CatBoost model as it outperforms all benchmarked models with its ability to capture complex feature relationships. Economic benefits analysis shows that the proposed framework can correctly identify more financially distressed companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhao, Shuping & Xu, Kai & Wang, Zhao & Liang, Changyong & Lu, Wenxing & Chen, Bo, 2022. "Financial distress prediction by combining sentiment tone features," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:106:y:2022:i:c:s0264999321002984
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2021.105709

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    Cited by:

    1. Hoang Hiep Nguyen & Jean-Laurent Viviani & Sami Ben Jabeur, 2023. "Bankruptcy prediction using machine learning and Shapley additive explanations," Post-Print hal-04223161, HAL.
    2. Wei, Lu & Jing, Haozhe & Huang, Jie & Deng, Yuqi & Jing, Zhongbo, 2023. "Do textual risk disclosures reveal corporate risk? Evidence from U.S. fintech corporations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    3. Ma, Yuanyuan & Zhang, Pingping & Duan, Shaodong & Zhang, Tianjie, 2023. "Credit default prediction of Chinese real estate listed companies based on explainable machine learning," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(PA).
    4. Ding, Shusheng & Cui, Tianxiang & Bellotti, Anthony Graham & Abedin, Mohammad Zoynul & Lucey, Brian, 2023. "The role of feature importance in predicting corporate financial distress in pre and post COVID periods: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    5. Qiu, Yue & Zheng, Yuchen, 2023. "Improving box office projections through sentiment analysis: Insights from regularization-based forecast combinations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    6. Li, Jing & Li, Nan & Xia, Tongshui & Guo, Jinjin, 2023. "Textual analysis and detection of financial fraud: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).

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    More about this item


    Financial distress prediction; Comments on online stock forums; Management discussion and analysis; Financial statement notes; CatBoost;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G41 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making in Financial Markets


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