An Analysis of the Implications of Discontinued Operations for Continuing Income
25 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2008 Last revised: 18 Apr 2014
Date Written: December 17, 2014
We examine the extent to which changes in the accounting for discontinued operations affects the usefulness of disaggregated income components in predicting an entity’s future continuing income. Our study is motivated by the joint FASB/IASB convergence project which seeks to define the scope of transactions reported in discontinued operations. To examine our question, we compare the properties of continuing income and discontinued operations reported under SFAS 144 and APB 30, where APB 30 closely parallels IFRS 5. We find that the broader scope of the rule under SFAS 144 results in more persistent continuing income among firms reporting discontinued operations, and that this is concentrated among single-segment firms, which previously were less likely to fall within the scope of APB 30. Because we find no evidence of increased opportunism, we conclude that the broader scope of the rule results in a finer partitioning of recurring and nonrecurring income. Overall, our results support the broader scope of discontinued operations.
Keywords: Discontinued operations, financial reporting, convergence, IASB, FASB
JEL Classification: M41, M43, M44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation