The predictive power of investment and accruals

The predictive power of investment and accruals We test whether investment explains the accrual anomaly by splitting total accruals into investment-related and “nontransaction” accruals, items such as depreciation and asset write-downs that do not represent new investment expenditures. The two types of accruals have very different predictive power for firm performance, not just for future earnings but also for future cash flow and stock returns. Most importantly, nontransaction accruals have the strongest negative predictive slopes for earnings and stock returns, contrary to the predictions of the investment hypothesis. A long-short portfolio based on nontransaction accruals has a significant average return of 0.71 % monthly from 1972 to 2010 and remains profitable at the end of the sample when returns on other accrual strategies decline. Our results suggest that nontransaction accruals are the least reliable component of accruals and show that a significant portion of the accrual anomaly cannot be explained by investment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

The predictive power of investment and accruals

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Business and Management; Accounting/Auditing; Corporate Finance; Public Finance
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-016-9369-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We test whether investment explains the accrual anomaly by splitting total accruals into investment-related and “nontransaction” accruals, items such as depreciation and asset write-downs that do not represent new investment expenditures. The two types of accruals have very different predictive power for firm performance, not just for future earnings but also for future cash flow and stock returns. Most importantly, nontransaction accruals have the strongest negative predictive slopes for earnings and stock returns, contrary to the predictions of the investment hypothesis. A long-short portfolio based on nontransaction accruals has a significant average return of 0.71 % monthly from 1972 to 2010 and remains profitable at the end of the sample when returns on other accrual strategies decline. Our results suggest that nontransaction accruals are the least reliable component of accruals and show that a significant portion of the accrual anomaly cannot be explained by investment.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 21, 2016

References

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