The purpose of this paper is to detect quantitatively the existence of anchoring bias among financial analysts on the Tunisian stock market. Both non-parametric and parametric methods are used.Design/methodology/approachTwo studies have been conducted over the period 2010–2014. A first analysis is non-parametric, based on observations of the sign taking by the surprise of result announcement according to the evolution of earning per share (EPS). A second analysis uses simple and multiple linear regression methods to quantify the anchor bias.FindingsNon-parametric results show that in the majority of cases, the earning per share variations are followed by unexpected earnings surprises of the same direction, which verify the hypothesis of an anchoring bias of financial analysts to the past benefits. Parametric results confirm these first findings by testing different psychological anchors’ variables. Financial analysts are found to remain anchored to the previous benefits and carry out insufficient adjustments following the announcement of the results by the companies. There is also a tendency for an over/under-reaction in changes in forecasts. Analysts’ behavior is asymmetrical depending on the sign of the forecast changes: an over-reaction for positive prediction changes and a negative reaction for negative prediction changes.Originality/valueThe evidence provided in this paper largely validates the assumptions derived from the behavioral theory particularly the lessons learned by Kaestner (2005) and Amir and Ganzach (1998). The authors conclude that financial analysts on the Tunisian stock market suffer from anchoring, optimism, over and under-reaction biases when announcing the earnings.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2020
Keywords: Financial analysts; Tunisian stock market; Anchoring bias; Earnings per share (EPS); Unexpected earnings; G12; G14; G17; M10
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