Existing research provides competing theories about how dispersion of investor beliefs might affect stock prices. We measure changes in dispersion of investor beliefs around earnings announcements using changes in the dispersion of individual analysts’ forecasts. We find that the 3-day market response to earnings announcements is negatively associated with changes in dispersion, consistent with the cost of capital hypothesis. The results hold after controlling for the current earnings surprise, forecast revisions of future earnings, and reported earnings relative to various earnings thresholds. Our study provides new insight about the information contained in earnings announcements that is incremental to the magnitude and timing of cash flows.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 25, 2008
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