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Tips and Tells from Managers: How Analysts and the Market Read Between the Lines of Conference Calls

Author

Listed:
  • Marina DRUZ

    (University of Lugano and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Alexander F. WAGNER

    (University of Zurich, Swiss Finance Institute, CEPR, and ECGI)

  • Alexander Richard J. ZECKHAUSER

    (Harvard University and NBER)

Abstract

Stock prices react significantly to the tone (negativity of words) managers use on earnings conference calls. This reaction reflects reasonably rational use of information. “Tone surprise” -- the residual when negativity in managerial tone is regressed on the firm’s recent economic performance and CEO fixed effects -- predicts future earnings and analyst uncertainty. Prices move more, as hypothesized, in firms where tone surprise predicts more strongly. Experienced analysts respond appropriately in revising their forecasts; inexperienced analysts overreact (underreact) to tone surprises in presentations (answers). Post-call price drift, like post-earnings announcement drift, suggests less-than-full-use of information embedded in managerial tone.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina DRUZ & Alexander F. WAGNER & Alexander Richard J. ZECKHAUSER, 2015. "Tips and Tells from Managers: How Analysts and the Market Read Between the Lines of Conference Calls," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 15-02, Swiss Finance Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp1502
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul C. Tetlock & Maytal Saar-Tsechansky & Sofus Macskassy, 2008. "More Than Words: Quantifying Language to Measure Firms' Fundamentals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1437-1467, June.
    2. Elizabeth Demers & Clara Vega, 2008. "Soft information in earnings announcements: news or noise?," International Finance Discussion Papers 951, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:aosoci:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:33-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:finmar:v:40:y:2018:i:c:p:75-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stephen J. Terry, 2015. "The Macro Impact of Short-Termism," Discussion Papers 15-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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