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Reading Managerial Tone: How Analysts and the Market Respond to Conference Calls

Author

Listed:
  • Druz, Marina

    (Flextronics, San Jose)

  • Wagner, Alexander F.

    (Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard J.

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Conference call tone predicts future earnings and uncertainty. "Tone disappointment" (excessive negativity) predicts more strongly than "tone delight" (excessive positivity). However, analysts and investors respond more quickly to delight than disappointment. Consequently, stock prices drift downward after their initial reaction to tone disappointment. Tone surprises move stock prices more in those firms where tone surprise predicts earnings and uncertainty more strongly. These results hold even after controlling for negativity of words in the earnings press release, analyst expectations, the firm's recent performance, and CEO fixed effects. Together, these coherent results suggest that market participants distill value-relevant information from conference calls.

Suggested Citation

  • Druz, Marina & Wagner, Alexander F. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2015. "Reading Managerial Tone: How Analysts and the Market Respond to Conference Calls," Working Paper Series 16-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:16-004
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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. 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:

    • 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
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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