Firms' Propensity to Meet or Miss Analysts' Forecasts of Cash Flows and Earnings

Posted: 9 Feb 2008 Last revised: 31 Mar 2014

See all articles by Lawrence D. Brown

Lawrence D. Brown

Temple University - Department of Accounting

Arianna S. Pinello

Florida Gulf Coast University

Date Written: October 14, 2008

Abstract

We investigate firms' propensity to meet analysts' forecasts of cash flows and earnings, and identify factors pertaining to market valuation, financial analysts, and firms' financial condition to explain why firms sometimes meet cash flow forecasts but miss earnings forecasts. Firms meet cash flow forecasts but miss earnings forecasts nearly 75 percent as often as they meet earnings forecasts but miss cash flow forecasts. Firms are more likely to meet cash flow forecasts but miss earnings forecasts when: (1) the adverse valuation consequences of doing so are less severe; (2) analyst following of cash flows vis-a-vis earnings is large; (3) analysts forecast extreme positive accruals; (4) analysts downwardly revise cash flow but not earnings forecasts; (5) firms are in financial distress; (6) firms have inflated balance sheets; and (7) firms report decreases in earnings but not cash flows. We contribute to the literature exploring the importance of analysts' cash flow forecasts.

Keywords: Analyst forecasts, Cash flow forecasts, Earnings forecasts, Meeting or missing forecasts

JEL Classification: C12, C21, M41

Suggested Citation

Brown, Lawrence D. and Pinello, Arianna S., Firms' Propensity to Meet or Miss Analysts' Forecasts of Cash Flows and Earnings (October 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1091588

Lawrence D. Brown

Temple University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Arianna S. Pinello (Contact Author)

Florida Gulf Coast University ( email )

10485 FGCU Blvd S
Ft. Myers, FL 33965-6565
United States

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