In this study we examine whether firms manage earnings before pursuing corporate spinoffs. Using a sample of 226 completed spinoffs between 1985 and 2005, we find strong evidence of pre-spinoff earnings management among parent firms involved in non-focus-increasing spinoffs. We also find higher levels of earnings management among parent firms that have a higher level of information asymmetry prior to spinoff announcements. Our regression results show a significant negative relation between income-increasing earnings management and the announcement period returns for non-focus-increasing spinoffs. In addition, a significant positive relation is found between income-increasing earnings management and the announcement period returns for focus-increasing spinoffs. The results suggest that income-increasing earnings management sends out negative signals about non-focus-increasing spinoffs but positive signals about focus-increasing spinoffs.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 26, 2013
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