This paper provides evidence on how the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 146, Accounting for Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities (SFAS 146), has changed (1) restructuring-related earnings management, (2) the effect of restructurings on future operating performance, and (3) stock price responses to restructuring announcements. I find that restructuring charges reported after SFAS 146 have a weaker association with smoothing behavior. More importantly, I document that an improvement in future earnings following a normal restructuring charge is attenuated under SFAS 146, consistent with the standard’s adoption resulting in smaller and more frequent (i.e., more persistent) restructuring charges. I further document that the market places a higher valuation multiple on restructuring charges in the post-SFAS 146 regime, compared to the pre-SFAS 146 regime. Therefore the overall results suggest that the market appears to understand the higher persistence of restructuring charges reported under SFAS 146 and values the charges accordingly.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 3, 2013
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