Dechow and Ge (2006, Review of Accounting Studies, 11) add new descriptive evidence to the literature on earnings behavior and investor reaction to earnings. Specifically, they find that low accrual firms with negative special items have higher returns on assets and higher market returns in future years. Their paper raises interesting questions about conservative accounting and about the effect of special items on the future performance of distressed firms. However, because the authors position their paper as an investigation of the accruals anomaly they don’t explore many of the issues they raise, and so miss an opportunity to make a more substantive contribution to our understanding of the behavior of and reaction to accounting information.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: May 19, 2006
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