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Accounting earnings and firm valuation: the French case

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  • Pascal Dumontier
  • Real Labelle

Abstract

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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tayeb Saadi, 2007. "EVA Vs. résultat net : Quel contenu informationnel dans le contexte français ?," Post-Print halshs-00544950, HAL.
    2. 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.
    3. Hamadi Matoussi & Ben Hamadi Samia & Oussama Baklouti Mohamed, 2006. "Desagregation Des Accruals Discretionnaires Et Pertinence Du Benefice Comptable," Post-Print halshs-00558044, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1151 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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

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