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Annual report readability, current earnings, and earnings persistence

  • Li, Feng
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This paper examines the relation between annual report readability and firm performance and earnings persistence. I measure the readability of public company annual reports using the Fog index from the computational linguistics literature and the length of the document. I find that: (1) the annual reports of firms with lower earnings are harder to read (i.e., they have a higher Fog index and are longer); and (2) firms with annual reports that are easier to read have more persistent positive earnings.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V87-4S01WFH-1/1/827459a3c01e36137cc89df27b3b1f41
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Accounting and Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (August)
Pages: 221-247

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:45:y:2008:i:2-3:p:221-247
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jae

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  1. Amy P. Hutton & Gregory S. Miller & Douglas J. Skinner, 2003. "The Role of Supplementary Statements with Management Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 867-890, December.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  3. Daines, Robert, 2001. "Does Delaware law improve firm value?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 525-558, December.
  4. Stephen P. Baginski & John M. Hassell & Michael D. Kimbrough, 2004. "Why Do Managers Explain Their Earnings Forecasts?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 1-29, 03.
  5. Aboody, David & Kasznik, Ron, 2000. "CEO stock option awards and the timing of corporate voluntary disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-100, February.
  6. Gregory S. Miller, 2002. "Earnings Performance and Discretionary Disclosure," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 173-204, 03.
  7. Francis, Jennifer & LaFond, Ryan & Olsson, Per & Schipper, Katherine, 2005. "The market pricing of accruals quality," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 295-327, June.
  8. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
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