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Analysts' Conflict of Interest and Biases in Earnings Forecasts

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  • Louis K. C. Chan
  • Jason Karceski
  • Josef Lakonishok

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis K. C. Chan & Jason Karceski & Josef Lakonishok, 2003. "Analysts' Conflict of Interest and Biases in Earnings Forecasts," NBER Working Papers 9544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9544
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kross, William J. & Ro, Byung T. & Suk, Inho, 2011. "Consistency in meeting or beating earnings expectations and management earnings forecasts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 37-57, February.
    2. Alexander Ljungqvist & Felicia Marston & William J. Wilhelm, 2006. "Competing for Securities Underwriting Mandates: Banking Relationships and Analyst Recommendations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 301-340, February.
    3. Dan Li & Geng Li, 2014. "Are Household Investors Noise Traders: Evidence from Belief Dispersion and Stock Trading Volume," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Malmendier, Ulrike & Shanthikumar, Devin, 2007. "Are small investors naive about incentives?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 457-489, August.
    5. Kross, William J. & Ro, Byung T. & Suk, Inho, 2011. "Consistency in meeting or beating earnings expectations and management earnings forecasts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 37-57.
    6. Guido BOLLIGER & Manuel KAST, 2003. "Executive Compensation and Analyst Guidance: The Link between CEO Pay and Expectations Management," FAME Research Paper Series rp102, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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