The predictive qualities of earnings volatility and earnings uncertainty

The predictive qualities of earnings volatility and earnings uncertainty This study examines the differential predictive power of past earnings volatility for analyst forecast errors and future returns. Past earnings volatility jointly captures two correlated, but distinct, earnings properties: time-series earnings variation and uncertainty in future earnings. To distinguish between these two earnings properties, we develop a forward-looking measure of earnings uncertainty that has a minimal mechanical link to variation in prior-period earnings realizations and does not rely on analyst forecasts. Our results suggest that future earnings uncertainty, and not time variation in earnings, is associated with overly optimistic future earnings expectations of equity analysts and investors. We provide the first empirical evidence on the relevance of future earnings uncertainty to analysts and investors over 1-year horizons. In addition, we provide empirical evidence showing that forecast dispersion is a poor measure of earnings uncertainty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

The predictive qualities of earnings volatility and earnings uncertainty

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Accounting/Auditing; Finance/Investment/Banking; Public Finance & Economics
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-014-9308-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examines the differential predictive power of past earnings volatility for analyst forecast errors and future returns. Past earnings volatility jointly captures two correlated, but distinct, earnings properties: time-series earnings variation and uncertainty in future earnings. To distinguish between these two earnings properties, we develop a forward-looking measure of earnings uncertainty that has a minimal mechanical link to variation in prior-period earnings realizations and does not rely on analyst forecasts. Our results suggest that future earnings uncertainty, and not time variation in earnings, is associated with overly optimistic future earnings expectations of equity analysts and investors. We provide the first empirical evidence on the relevance of future earnings uncertainty to analysts and investors over 1-year horizons. In addition, we provide empirical evidence showing that forecast dispersion is a poor measure of earnings uncertainty.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 24, 2014

References

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