This study investigates the relationship between the dispersion of analysts' earnings forecasts and stock price variability around quarterly earnings announcements. Consistent with theoretical predictions, the empirical analysis shows that stock price variability at the time of earnings announcements is positively related to the degree of analysts' predisclosure earnings forecast dispersion. Additionally, firms with high levels of forecast dispersion exhibit significant increases in price variability for longer periods prior to and following earnings announcements than do firms with low levels of forecast dispersion. These results suggest that there is information about the earnings announcement that becomes available to at least a subset of investors prior to the earnings release and that market participants take different amounts of time to process the information conveyed by the earnings announcement.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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