A number of recent studies have shown that earnings information is less useful and value relevant when firms are financially troubled. This finding has given rise to the consideration of alternatives. In this paper, we examine the contributions of book value-based proxies (normal earnings and abandonment value) and flow-based proxies (earnings and operating accruals) to the assessment of the likelihood of emergence from financial distress. Our prior reasoning is that while book value-based proxies may provide information about potential future cash resources, flow-based proxies, because they capture the progress of reorganization efforts underway, as opposed to mere potential, should be relatively more useful in assessing the likelihood of emergence from distress. Our findings are consistent with this explanation. We document that the primary predictors of emergence are flow-based proxies—in particular, cash from operations, net of earnings.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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