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The effect of earnings surprises on information asymmetry

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  • Brown, Stephen
  • Hillegeist, Stephen A.
  • Lo, Kin

Abstract

We examine the effect of earnings surprises on changes in information asymmetry. We hypothesize and find that asymmetry is lower (higher) in the quarter following positive (negative) earnings surprises compared to firms that meet the consensus analyst earnings forecast. The relations between earnings surprises and information asymmetry are stronger when the surprises are more likely to capture investors' attention. Examining the source of these changes, we show that decreased information search activities is the most important factor for asymmetry declining after positive surprises; for negative surprises, decreased uninformed trading plays a dominant role increasing asymmetry.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Stephen & Hillegeist, Stephen A. & Lo, Kin, 2009. "The effect of earnings surprises on information asymmetry," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 208-225, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:47:y:2009:i:3:p:208-225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Iatridis, George Emmanuel, 2016. "Financial reporting language in financial statements: Does pessimism restrict the potential for managerial opportunism?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-17.
    2. Lo, Kin & Ramos, Felipe & Rogo, Rafael, 2017. "Earnings management and annual report readability," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-25.
    3. Barakat, Ahmed & Chernobai, Anna & Wahrenburg, Mark, 2014. "Information asymmetry around operational risk announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 152-179.
    4. Chakrabarty, Bidisha & Moulton, Pamela C., 2012. "Earnings announcements and attention constraints: The role of market design," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 612-634.
    5. Paul-Valentin Ngobo & Jean-Fran├žois Casta & Olivier Ramond, 2012. "Is customer satisfaction a relevant metric for financial analysts?," Post-Print halshs-00680003, HAL.
    6. Ertimur, Yonca & Sletten, Ewa & Sunder, Jayanthi, 2014. "Large shareholders and disclosure strategies: Evidence from IPO lockup expirations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 79-95.
    7. Zhang, Qi & Cai, Charlie X. & Keasey, Kevin, 2013. "Market reaction to earnings news: A unified test of information risk and transaction costs," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 251-266.
    8. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Lee, Gemma & Masulis, Ronald W., 2013. "Contracting under asymmetric information: Evidence from lockup agreements in seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 607-626.
    9. repec:eee:accoun:v:52:y:2017:i:4:p:354-369 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Qianyun Huang & Terrance R. Skantz, 2016. "The informativeness of pro forma and street earnings: an examination of information asymmetry around earnings announcements," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 198-250, March.
    11. repec:rss:jnljef:v3i3p6 is not listed on IDEAS

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