A Simultaneous Equations Analysis of Forecast Accuracy, Analyst Following, and Trading Volume
Andrew W. Alford
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Philip G. Berger
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Vol 14, No 3 (New Series), Summer 1999
We use a simultaneous equations model to study forecast accuracy, analyst following, and trading volume. Forecast accuracy and analyst following are determined simultaneously, with greater accuracy associated with higher following. This result supports the idea that an analyst?s private information complements, rather than substitutes for, factors that increase certainty about the firm?s prospects. Stocks generating more trading volume (and thus greater brokerage commissions) have higher analyst following. Given the simultaneity we document between accuracy and following, stocks that generate greater brokerage commissions not only directly induce higher analyst following but also indirectly enhance the accuracy of earnings forecasts about their firms. Finally, special items and a broad accounting-based signal of change impair analysts? ability to predict future earnings. The negative effect of special items on accuracy is consistent with concerns raised by standard setters that unusual events impair investors? ability to interpret future earnings.
JEL Classification: G12, G29, D82, M41, M44
Date posted: November 15, 1999