Accounting Conservatism and the Relation Between Returns and Accounting Data

Accounting Conservatism and the Relation Between Returns and Accounting Data This study adds change in cash investments and change in lagged operating assets to the regression of returns on earnings levels and earnings changes examined in Easton and Harris (1991). We argue that a positive coefficient on change in cash investments captures conservatism associated with investments in positive net present value projects the effects of which will not flow into the accounting statements until the expected future benefits are realized. A positive coefficient on change in lagged operating assets implies accounting conservatism associated with the application of accounting rules to operating assets in place. Our empirical results are, in general, consistent with these arguments. We examine differences in conservatism across samples with different market to book ratios, we compare firms with non-negative returns with firms with negative returns, we compare firms reporting losses with firms reporting profits, and we examine firms in different industries, firms with different levels of research and development expenditure, different amounts of depreciation, different amounts of advertising expense, and firms that adopt LIFO inventory valuation compared with those that adopt an alternative to LIFO. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Accounting Conservatism and the Relation Between Returns and Accounting Data

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Business and Management; Accounting/Auditing; Corporate Finance; Public Finance
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-004-7794-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study adds change in cash investments and change in lagged operating assets to the regression of returns on earnings levels and earnings changes examined in Easton and Harris (1991). We argue that a positive coefficient on change in cash investments captures conservatism associated with investments in positive net present value projects the effects of which will not flow into the accounting statements until the expected future benefits are realized. A positive coefficient on change in lagged operating assets implies accounting conservatism associated with the application of accounting rules to operating assets in place. Our empirical results are, in general, consistent with these arguments. We examine differences in conservatism across samples with different market to book ratios, we compare firms with non-negative returns with firms with negative returns, we compare firms reporting losses with firms reporting profits, and we examine firms in different industries, firms with different levels of research and development expenditure, different amounts of depreciation, different amounts of advertising expense, and firms that adopt LIFO inventory valuation compared with those that adopt an alternative to LIFO.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 4, 2004

References

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