The Five Stages of Analyst Careers: Coverage Choices and Changing Influence
Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Accountancy
P. Raghavendra Rau
University of Cambridge
Virginia Tech - Pamplin College of Business
August 24, 2009
We examine changes in analysts’ monitoring incentives and effectiveness as they progress along their career paths. We find that analysts are less likely to be elected all-stars in the annual Institutional Investor elections when the firms they covered in the year prior to the election have high absolute abnormal accruals. Consistent with the hypothesis that career concerns play an important role in their coverage decisions, up and coming analysts strategically choose firms to cover. Specifically, they drop firms with high earnings management and replace them with low earnings management firms. Once they are elected all-stars and become established in their careers, they replace low earnings management firms with high earnings management firms. Firms that gain all-star coverage reduce earnings management. In addition, investors value recommendation downgrades by all-stars significantly more than downgrades by incipient stars or ex-stars, suggesting that that analyst visibility/influence, rather than analyst innate ability, is the underlying source of the effective monitoring of star analysts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Analyst monitoring, earnings management, analyst coverage, career concerns, all-star analysts
JEL Classification: G34, M41, G24
Date posted: August 24, 2009 ; Last revised: November 13, 2009
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