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Anomalous Price Behavior Following Earnings Surprises: Does Representativeness Cause Overreaction?

  • Michael Kaestner

    (GESEM, Center for Research in Finance, Montpellier University, France)

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    Behavioral Finance aims to explain empirical anomalies by introducing investor psychology as a determinant of asset pricing. This study provides strong evidence that anomalous stock price behavior following earnings announcements is due to a representativeness bias. It investigates current and past earnings surprises and subsequent market reaction for listed US companies over the period 1983-1999. The results suggest that investors overreact to past earnings surprises. As, on average, extreme past surprises are not confirmed by actual earnings figures, they are followed by stock market reactions of the opposite sign. Moreover, the longer the similar earnings surprise series, the higher the subsequent reversal.

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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 0505018.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: 22 May 2005
    Date of revision: 03 Oct 2005
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0505018
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 17
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    1. Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "A Unified Theory of Underreaction, Momentum Trading, and Overreaction in Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2143-2184, December.
    2. David Ikenberry & Josef Lakonishok & Theo Vermaelen, 1994. "Market Underreaction to Open Market Share Repurchases," NBER Working Papers 4965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ikenberry, David L. & Rankine, Graeme & Stice, Earl K., 1996. "What Do Stock Splits Really Signal?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(03), pages 357-375, September.
    4. Chopra, Navin & Lakonishok, Josef & Ritter, Jay R., 1992. "Measuring abnormal performance : Do stocks overreact?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 235-268, April.
    5. Barberis, Nicholas & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1998. "A model of investor sentiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 307-343, September.
    6. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lee, Inmoo, 1997. " Do Firms Knowingly Sell Overvalued Equity?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1439-66, September.
    8. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
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