IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Accounting earnings and firm valuation: the French case


  • Pascal Dumontier
  • Real Labelle


Considering that the level of the association between stock returns and accounting earnings provides a measure of the extent to which earnings summarize the information which is useful for firm valuation, this paper analyses the contemporaneous association between stock returns and earnings changes or earnings level of individual French stocks and portfolios for periods of one, two and five years between 1981 and 1990. The empirical findings are as follows. (a) Stock returns are more linked to earnings changes than to earnings levels indicating that earnings provide more information about changes in firm value than about firm value. (b) Earnings prepared in accordance with the French accounting principles are not less value-relevant than those prepared in accordance with US or UK GAAP. (c) A cross-sectionally and time-aggregated data procedure provides a large increase in the explanatory power of earnings for returns which is consistent with a noise-in-earnings effect probably induced by accounting measurement and valuation principles and with a recognition lag effect due to the fact that value-relevant events are not integrated into earnings exactly when they occur. These two effects are shown to be the major causes of the low association between earnings and returns generally observed in studies based on short period data for individual stocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Dumontier & Real Labelle, 1998. "Accounting earnings and firm valuation: the French case," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 163-183.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:7:y:1998:i:2:p:163-183
    DOI: 10.1080/096381898336439

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kothari, S. P., 1992. "Price-earnings regressions in the presence of prices leading earnings : Earnings level versus change specifications and alternative deflators," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2-3), pages 173-202, August.
    2. repec:bla:joares:v:29:y:1991:i:1:p:19-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-333, March.
    4. Dechow, Patricia M., 1994. "Accounting earnings and cash flows as measures of firm performance : The role of accounting accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-42, July.
    5. A. Frydlender & D. Pham, 1996. "Relationships between accounting and taxation in France," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 845-857.
    6. Kothari, S.P., 1992. "Price-Earnings Regressions in the Presence of prices Leading Earnings: Earnings Level Versus Change Specifications and Alternative Deflators," Papers 92-10, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
    7. repec:bla:joares:v:31:y:1993:i:2:p:190-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Easton, Peter D. & Harris, Trevor S. & Ohlson, James A., 1992. "Aggregate accounting earnings can explain most of security returns : The case of long return intervals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2-3), pages 119-142, August.
    9. Beaver, William & Lambert, Richard & Morse, Dale, 1980. "The information content of security prices," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 3-28, March.
    10. Christie, Andrew A., 1987. "On cross-sectional analysis in accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 231-258, December.
    11. Kothari, S. P. & Zimmerman, Jerold L., 1995. "Price and return models," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 155-192, September.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9191 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ou, Jane A. & Penman, Stephen H., 1989. "Financial statement analysis and the prediction of stock returns," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 295-329, November.
    14. repec:bla:joares:v:6:y:1968:i:2:p:159-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Collins, Daniel W. & Kothari, S. P. & Shanken, Jay & Sloan, Richard G., 1994. "Lack of timeliness and noise as explanations for the low contemporaneuos return-earnings association," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 289-324, November.
    16. Chan, Kam C. & Seow, Gim S., 1996. "The association between stock returns and foreign GAAP earnings versus earnings adjusted to U.S. GAAP," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 139-158, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Fatma Ben Slama & Hamadi Matoussi & Benoit Pigé, 2007. "GOUVERNANCE D'ENTREPRISE ET POUVOIR INFORMATIONNEL DES BENEFICES COMPTABLES EN FRANCE ET AUX Etats-Unis," Post-Print halshs-00543062, HAL.
    2. Fatma Ben Slama & Hamadi Matoussi & Adel Karaa, 2005. "Gouvernance D'Entreprise Et Pertinence Des Benefices Comptables: Une Etude D'Association," Post-Print halshs-00581124, HAL.
    3. Mohamed Sellami, 2006. "Typologie des déterminants comptables de la valeur : Apports de l'approche économique de l'information dans la mesure de la valeur," Post-Print halshs-00558252, HAL.
    4. Tayeb Saadi, 2007. "EVA Vs. résultat net : Quel contenu informationnel dans le contexte français ?," Post-Print halshs-00544950, HAL.
    5. Mariarosaria Agostino & Danilo Drago & Damiano Silipo, 2011. "The value relevance of IFRS in the European banking industry," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 437-457, April.
    6. Hamadi Matoussi & Ben Hamadi Samia & Oussama Baklouti Mohamed, 2006. "Desagregation Des Accruals Discretionnaires Et Pertinence Du Benefice Comptable," Post-Print halshs-00558044, HAL.
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1151 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pascal Dumontier & Bernard Raffournier, 2002. "Accounting and capital markets: a survey of the European evidence," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 119-151.
    9. Inès Bouden, 2005. "L'Identification Des Incorporels Lors Des Regroupements D'Entreprises : Une Etude Exploratoire Du Marche Financier Français," Post-Print halshs-00581132, HAL.
    10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4142 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:7:y:1998:i:2:p:163-183. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.