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How Important are Earnings Announcements as an Information Source?


  • Sudipta Basu
  • Truong Xuan Duong
  • Stanimir Markov
  • Eng-Joo Tan


In a competitive information market, a single information source can only dominate other sources individually, not collectively. We explore whether earnings announcements constitute such a dominant source using Ball and Shivakumar's (2008) [How much new information is there in earnings?, Journal of Accounting Research , 2008, 46(5), pp. 975--1016] R -super-2 metric: the proportion of the variation in annual returns explained by the four quarterly earnings announcement returns. We find that the earnings announcement days' R -super-2 is 11% -- higher than the corresponding R -super-2 of days with dividend announcements, management forecasts, preannouncements, and 10-K and 10-Q filings and their amendments, and comparable to that of the four days with the largest realised absolute returns in a year. Additional analysis reveals that earnings announcements convey extreme bad news as often as management forecasts and preannouncements; for any other type of news, earnings announcements are much more frequent. We conclude that earnings announcements are an important source of new information in the equity market.

Suggested Citation

  • Sudipta Basu & Truong Xuan Duong & Stanimir Markov & Eng-Joo Tan, 2013. "How Important are Earnings Announcements as an Information Source?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 221-256, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:22:y:2013:i:2:p:221-256
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2013.782820

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    Cited by:

    1. Karel Janda, 2019. "Earnings Stability and Peer Company Selection for Multiple Based Indirect Valuation," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 69(1), pages 37-75, February.
    2. S. P. Kothari & Charles Wasley, 2019. "Commemorating the 50‐Year Anniversary of Ball and Brown (1968): The Evolution of Capital Market Research over the Past 50 Years," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(5), pages 1117-1159, December.
    3. Miguel Duro & Jonas Heese & Gaizka Ormazabal, 2019. "The effect of enforcement transparency: Evidence from SEC comment-letter reviews," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 780-823, September.
    4. Duro, Miguel & Heese, Jonas & Ormazabal, Gaizka, 2017. "Does the Public Disclosure of the SEC's Oversight Actions Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Cascino, Stefano & Clatworthy, Mark A. & Osma, Beatriz Garcia & Gassen, Joachim & Imam, Shahed, 2021. "The usefulness of financial accounting information: evidence from the field," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107569, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Ardia, David & Bluteau, Keven & Boudt, Kris, 2022. "Media abnormal tone, earnings announcements, and the stock market," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    7. Shuai Shao & Robert Stoumbos & X. Frank Zhang, 2021. "The power of firm fundamental information in explaining stock returns," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1249-1289, December.
    8. Siddiqi, Hammad, 2019. "CAPM: A Tale of Two Versions," MPRA Paper 92798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Kjærland, Frode & Kosberg, Fredrik & Misje, Mathias, 2021. "Accrual earnings management in response to an oil price shock," Journal of Commodity Markets, Elsevier, vol. 22(C).
    10. Schnaubelt, Matthias & Seifert, Oleg, 2020. "Valuation ratios, surprises, uncertainty or sentiment: How does financial machine learning predict returns from earnings announcements?," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 04/2020, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

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