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Research for Sale: Determinants and Consequences of Paid-for Analyst Research

51 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2008 Last revised: 3 Dec 2013

Marcus Kirk

University of Florida - Fisher School of Accounting

Date Written: October 21, 2010

Abstract

I examine the determinants and market impact of paid-for coverage using a hand-collected sample of paid-for reports over 1999–2006. More than five hundred publicly listed US companies paid for analyst coverage since 1999. Yet little is known about the informational consequences of this analyst research. Firms with greater uncertainty, weaker information environments, and low turnover are more likely to buy coverage as they have the most to gain from analyst coverage but are unlikely to attract sell-side analysts. Despite the inherent conflicts of interest, I find paid-for reports have information content for investors based on two-day abnormal returns. After the initiation of coverage, companies experience an increase in institutional ownership, sell-side analyst following, and liquidity. In addition, the results are strongest for the fee-based research firm with ex ante policies that reduce potential conflicts of interest.

Keywords: Analyst coverage, voluntary disclosure, capital markets, credibility

JEL Classification: G11, G14, G24, G32, G34

Suggested Citation

Kirk, Marcus, Research for Sale: Determinants and Consequences of Paid-for Analyst Research (October 21, 2010). Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 100, No. 1 (2010): 182-200.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1265709 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1265709

Marcus Kirk (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Fisher School of Accounting ( email )

Warrington College of Business
PO Box 117166
Gainesville, FL 32611-7166
United States
352-273-0222 (Phone)

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