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Analysts' Conflict of Interest and Biases in Earnings Forecasts

  • Louis K. C. Chan
  • Jason Karceski
  • Josef Lakonishok
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    Analysts' earnings forecasts are influenced by their desire to win investment banking clients. We hypothesize that the equity bull market of the 1990s, along with the boom in investment banking business, exacerbated analysts' conflict of interest and their incentives to adjust strategically forecasts to avoid earnings disappointments. We document shifts in the distribution of earnings surprises, the market's response to surprises and forecast revisions, and in the predictability of non-negative surprises. Further confirmation is based on subsamples where conflicts of interest are more pronounced, including growth stocks and stocks with consecutive non-negative surprises; however shifts are less notable in international markets.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9544.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9544.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9544
    Note: AP
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    1. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-86.
    2. Degeorge, Fran├žois & Patel, U & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1998. "Earnings Management to Exceed Thresholds," CEPR Discussion Papers 1790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
    4. Mola, Simona & Loughran, Tim, 2004. "Discounting and Clustering in Seasoned Equity Offering Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 1-23, March.
    5. Jay Ritter & Ivo Welch, 2002. "A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing and Allocations," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm258, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2002.
    6. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2003. "Analyzing the Analysts: Career Concerns and Biased Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 313-351, 02.
    7. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. " Good News for Value Stocks: Further Evidence on Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 859-74, June.
    8. Busse, Jeffrey A. & Clifton Green, T., 2002. "Market efficiency in real time," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 415-437, September.
    9. Bartov, Eli & Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2002. "The rewards to meeting or beating earnings expectations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-204, June.
    10. Fried, Dov & Givoly, Dan, 1982. "Financial analysts' forecasts of earnings : A better surrogate for market expectations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 85-107, October.
    11. Krigman, Laurie & Shaw, Wayne H. & Womack, Kent L., 2001. "Why do firms switch underwriters?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 245-284, May.
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