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Implications of Cost Behavior for Analysts’ Earnings Forecasts

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  • Mustafa Ciftci
  • Raj Mashruwala
  • Dan Weiss

Abstract

Recent work in management accounting offers several novel insights into firms’ cost behavior. This study explores whether financial analysts appropriately incorporate information on two types of cost behavior in predicting earnings - cost variability and cost stickiness. Since analysts’ utilization of information is not directly observable, we model the process of earnings prediction to generate empirically testable hypotheses. The results indicate that analysts “converge to the average” in recognizing both cost variability and cost stickiness, resulting in substantial and systematic earnings forecast errors. Particularly, we find a clear pattern - inappropriate incorporation of available information on cost behavior in earnings forecasts leads to larger errors in unfavorable scenarios than in favorable ones. Overall, enhancing analysts’ awareness of the expense side is likely to improve their earnings forecasts, mainly when sales turn to the worse.

Suggested Citation

  • Mustafa Ciftci & Raj Mashruwala & Dan Weiss, "undated". "Implications of Cost Behavior for Analysts’ Earnings Forecasts," Accounting Working Papers 17-03/2014, School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah.
  • Handle: RePEc:sha:accwps:17-03/2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cost stickiness; cost variability; analysts’ earnings forecasts; expense forecasts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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