The Role of Non-Accounting Information in Understanding Stock Return Volatility
46 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2009 Last revised: 2 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2008
Uncertainty about firms' future payoffs is the dominant factor in explaining stock return volatility at the firm level. However, summary financial statement numbers such as earnings only provide a limited measure of expected payoffs, as they do not reflect firms' fundamentals on a timely basis. We demonstrate theoretically and empirically that information about firms' fundamentals contained in analysts' forecasts (which we label as "non-accounting information") is expected to influence future stock return volatility. When combined with Ohlson's (1995) linear information dynamics, the accounting version of the Campbell-Shiller model (Campbell and Shiller 1988a, 1988b; Vuolteenaho 2002) implies that if current non-accounting information is more uncertain, then future stock returns are expected to be more volatile. Our empirical evidence supports the theoretical predictions, and the results are valid for measures of both systematic and idiosyncratic volatility. Additional analysis yields some evidence that both favourable and unfavourable news from non-accounting information increases future stock return volatility. Overall, our results highlight the relevance of information in analysts' forecasts beyond what is contained in the current financial statements.
Keywords: Non-accounting information, analysts' forecasts, stock price volatility, systematic and idiosyncratic risk
JEL Classification: G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation