Does the firm-analyst relationship matter in explaining analysts' earnings forecast errors?
We study whether financial analysts' concern for preserving good relationships with firms' managers motivates them to issue pessimistic or optimistic forecasts. Based on a dataset of one-yearahead EPS forecasts issued by 4 648 analysts concerning 241 French firms (1997-2007), we regress the analysts' forecast accuracy on its unintentional determinants. We then decompose the fixed effect of the regression and we use the firm-analyst pair effect as a measure of the intensity of the firm-analyst relationship. We find that a low (high) firm-analyst pair effect is associated with a low (high) forecast error. This observation suggests that pessimism and optimism result from the analysts' concern for cultivating their relationship with the firm's management.
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