Reported earnings and analyst forecasts as competing sources of information: A new approach
We apply a new methodology, modified Granger causality tests, to further analyze the information flows between earnings and forecasts. Our application focuses on the dynamic interaction between reported earnings and analystsâ€™ forecasts. Based on long time series of analyst earnings forecasts and reported earnings, we provide formal and compelling evidence of bi-directional â€˜causalityâ€™. Further, we report that the lag structure in information flows is longer than has been documented in the previous literature. This is consistent with our expectation that, in addition to past earnings reports, the forecasts themselves make a significant contribution to the information that is reflected in future earnings. However, the presence of feedback also suggests that past earnings reports, as well as past forecasts, are incorporated into later forecasts. Collectively, our findings imply that the information in earnings reports has inherent positive value and that forecasts do not fully substitute for earnings releases.
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