While brokerage houses use both teams of sell-side analysts and individual analysts to conduct earnings research, there is no empirical research examining whether teams and individuals differ with regard to their forecasting performance or purpose. We first examine the most-often researched dimension of forecasting performance, earnings forecast accuracy, and show that teams are less accurate than individual analysts in general and their own individual team members in particular. We conjecture that teams focus their efforts on an alternative dimension of forecasting performance, timeliness, and show that team forecasts are timelier than those of individual analysts in general and their own individual team members in particular. Consistent with the notion that teams trade-off forecast accuracy for timeliness to comply with a market research demand, we show that team forecast revisions are associated with larger market responses than those of individuals. Finally, we illuminate the nature of team assignments by documenting that the firms that teams follow are in greater financial distress and larger in size.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2008
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