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Investment analysts' forecasts of earnings

Author

Listed:
  • Rocco Ciciretti
  • Gerald P. Dwyer
  • Iftekhar Hasan

Abstract

The literature on investment analysts' forecasts of firms' earnings and their forecast errors is enormous. This paper summarizes the evidence on the distribution of analysts' forecasts and forecast errors using data for all U.S. firms from 1990 to 2004. The evidence indicates substantial asymmetry of earnings, earning forecasts, and forecast errors. There is strong support for average and median earning forecasts being higher than actual earnings a year before the earnings announcement. Such differences between earnings and forecasts also exist across time periods and industries. A month before the earnings announcement, the mean and median differences are small.

Suggested Citation

  • Rocco Ciciretti & Gerald P. Dwyer & Iftekhar Hasan, 2009. "Investment analysts' forecasts of earnings," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 545-568.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2009:i:sep:p:545-568:n:v.91no.5,pt.2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter Norman, 2006. "The strategy of professional forecasting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 441-466, August.
    2. Michael P. Keane & David E. Runkle, 1998. "Are Financial Analysts' Forecasts of Corporate Profits Rational?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 768-805, August.
    3. Clarke, Jonathan & Subramanian, Ajay, 2006. "Dynamic forecasting behavior by analysts: Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 81-113, April.
    4. Gamini Premaratne, 2005. "A Test for Symmetry with Leptokurtic Financial Data," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 3(2), pages 169-187.
    5. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
    6. Ljungqvist, Alexander & Marston, Felicia & Starks, Laura T. & Wei, Kelsey D. & Yan, Hong, 2007. "Conflicts of interest in sell-side research and the moderating role of institutional investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 420-456, August.
    7. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2003. "Analyzing the Analysts: Career Concerns and Biased Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 313-351, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Ciciretti, Rocco & Giovannelli, Alessandro, 2013. "Corporate social responsibility and earnings forecasting unbiasedness," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3654-3668.

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    Keywords

    Investments ; Forecasting;

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