Information content of credit ratings in pricing of future earnings

Information content of credit ratings in pricing of future earnings This paper examines whether credit ratings convey information about the firm’s future earnings to the capital markets. Using the future earnings response coefficient methodology, we find that the current stock returns of rated firms reflect more future earnings than do the stock returns of non-rated firms. We also find that the market reflect more future earnings in current returns for higher-rated firms. In addition, we present evidence that returns impound future earnings to a greater extent after a ratings initiation or upgrade. We empirically eliminate the possibility that our findings are driven by earnings smoothing, market liquidity or omitted default risk factors associated with ratings. Our results are robust to controlling for potential omitted variables, endogeneity bias, loss versus profit firms, and serial correlation of error terms. Overall, the evidence suggests that credit ratings help disseminate private information to reduce information uncertainty about the firm’s future profitability among market participants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting Springer Journals

Information content of credit ratings in pricing of future earnings

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Finance/Investment/Banking; Accounting/Auditing; Econometrics; Operations Research/Decision Theory
ISSN
0924-865X
eISSN
1573-7179
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11156-012-0273-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines whether credit ratings convey information about the firm’s future earnings to the capital markets. Using the future earnings response coefficient methodology, we find that the current stock returns of rated firms reflect more future earnings than do the stock returns of non-rated firms. We also find that the market reflect more future earnings in current returns for higher-rated firms. In addition, we present evidence that returns impound future earnings to a greater extent after a ratings initiation or upgrade. We empirically eliminate the possibility that our findings are driven by earnings smoothing, market liquidity or omitted default risk factors associated with ratings. Our results are robust to controlling for potential omitted variables, endogeneity bias, loss versus profit firms, and serial correlation of error terms. Overall, the evidence suggests that credit ratings help disseminate private information to reduce information uncertainty about the firm’s future profitability among market participants.

Journal

Review of Quantitative Finance and AccountingSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 4, 2012

References

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