A significantly larger number of firms increase the expected rate of return on pension plan assets (ERR) to make their reported earnings meet/exceed analyst forecasts than would be expected by chance. In the short run, the stock market reacts positively to these firms’ earnings announcements, suggesting that investors fail to recognize that earnings benchmarks are achieved through ERR manipulation. In the long run, however, firms that employ this earnings management strategy significantly underperform control firms in both stock returns and operating performance.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 7, 2013
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