Disaggregating operating and financial activities: implications for forecasts of profitability

Disaggregating operating and financial activities: implications for forecasts of profitability Researchers, practitioners, and standard setters emphasize the importance of disaggregating financial statements into operating and financial activities. However, there is a lack of research demonstrating that this disaggregation improves forecasts of profitability. In this study, we consider whether and when the operating/financial disaggregation improves forecasts of profitability. Contrary to the use of an aggregate forecasting approach by most related prior research, we first show that the operating/financial disaggregation only provides forecast improvement over a benchmark model incorporating aggregate information when the components forecasting approach is used. We also compare the operating/financial disaggregation to the unusual/infrequent disaggregation required by US GAAP. We find that the operating/financial disaggregation yields less accurate forecasts than the unusual/infrequent disaggregation. However, when using the components forecasting approach, we find that the combination of both disaggregations improves forecasts of profitability. Finally, we document that the incremental usefulness of the operating/financial disaggregation relative to a benchmark model incorporating aggregate information is a function of growth and accounting conservatism. Overall, our study provides timely evidence concerning how analysts and investors might best use the operating/financial disaggregation for forecasting profitability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Disaggregating operating and financial activities: implications for forecasts of profitability

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Accounting/Auditing; Finance/Investment/Banking; Public Finance & Economics
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-013-9256-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Researchers, practitioners, and standard setters emphasize the importance of disaggregating financial statements into operating and financial activities. However, there is a lack of research demonstrating that this disaggregation improves forecasts of profitability. In this study, we consider whether and when the operating/financial disaggregation improves forecasts of profitability. Contrary to the use of an aggregate forecasting approach by most related prior research, we first show that the operating/financial disaggregation only provides forecast improvement over a benchmark model incorporating aggregate information when the components forecasting approach is used. We also compare the operating/financial disaggregation to the unusual/infrequent disaggregation required by US GAAP. We find that the operating/financial disaggregation yields less accurate forecasts than the unusual/infrequent disaggregation. However, when using the components forecasting approach, we find that the combination of both disaggregations improves forecasts of profitability. Finally, we document that the incremental usefulness of the operating/financial disaggregation relative to a benchmark model incorporating aggregate information is a function of growth and accounting conservatism. Overall, our study provides timely evidence concerning how analysts and investors might best use the operating/financial disaggregation for forecasting profitability.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 29, 2013

References

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