Seasoned equity issuers can raise reported earnings by altering discretionary accounting accruals. We find that issuers who adjust discretionary current accruals to report higher net income prior to the offering have lower post-issue long-run abnormal stock returns and net income. Interestingly, the relation between discretionary current accruals and future returns (adjusted for firm size and book-to-market ratio) is stronger and more persistent for seasoned equity issuers than for non-issuers. The evidence is consistent with investors naively extrapolating pre-issue earnings without fully adjusting for the potential manipulation of reported earnings.
Journal of Financial Economics – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 1998
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