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Performance of Analyst's Earnings Forecasting - Evidence from the Finnish Emerging Markets 1987-2005

  • Kepsu, Mikko
  • Schadewitz, Hannu
  • Vieru, Markku

Financial analysts comprise one important group of information intermediaries between firms and investors (Healy & Palepu, 2001). They have great potential to decrease information asymmetry between firms and investors, resulting in better allocation of capital. Analysts’ work is influenced by, among other things, the quality and quantity of information available from the target firms. Furthermore, analysts' incentives could be influenced by the employer's other affairs with the client. Our paper has three purposes : 1) to review the main research literature on analysts' activity and performance, 2) to describe the development of analysts' activity in the period 1987-2005 in a Finnish emerging market, and 3) to analyse the impact of market regulation and market cycles on analysts' performance. Performance is studied in three dimensions: forecasting accuracy, forecast bias, and forecasting efficiency. Analysts' data are based on I/B/E/S. Our analysis shows the rapid development of analysts' activity, both in terms of the number of forecasts and longer forecasting horizons. Overall, the result supports the conclusion that analysts tend to be somewhat pessimistic in their Earnings per share (EPS) forecasts. Furthermore, the corrective actions taken have been somewhat sluggish (delays in EPS revisions). However, the forecasts improved significantly in the close before the actual EPS releases (0-1 month sample). Finally, analysts were not fully taking into account prior EPS development. This further supports the view that analysts underestimate the value of prior earnings change in their current earnings forecasting.

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Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1160.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1160
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  1. Roger K. Loh & Mujtaba Mian, 2003. "The Quality of Analysts' Earnings Forecasts During the Asian Crisis: Evidence from Singapore," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5-6), pages 749-770.
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  3. Patricia C. O'Brien & Maureen F. Mcnichols & Lin Hsiou-Wei, 2005. "Analyst Impartiality and Investment Banking Relationships," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 623-650, 09.
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  5. Hannu, Schadewitz, 1997. "Financial and nonfinancial information in interim reports: Determinants and implications," MPRA Paper 44292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Robert M. Bushman & Joseph D. Piotroski & Abbie J. Smith, 2005. "Insider Trading Restrictions and Analysts' Incentives to Follow Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 35-66, 02.
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  8. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
  9. Clement, Michael B., 1999. "Analyst forecast accuracy: Do ability, resources, and portfolio complexity matter?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 285-303, July.
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  15. Lynn Hodgkinson, 2001. "Analysts' Forecasts and the Broker Relationship," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(7&8), pages 943-961.
  16. Michael Eames, 2002. "The Association between Trading Recommendations and Broker-Analysts' Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-104, 03.
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