Do Financial Analysts’ Long-Term Growth Forecasts Matter? Evidence from Stock Recommendations and Career Outcomes
49 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2011 Last revised: 19 Mar 2015
Date Written: September 14, 2011
Prior literature refers to economic incentives to generate investment banking business and trading commissions as explanations for analyst publication of forecasts of firms’ long-term earnings growth (LTG). Prior research also documents wildly optimistic LTG forecasts and a negative relation between LTG forecasts and subsequent excess returns. Thus, the literature portrays analysts’ LTG forecasts as nonsensical from a valuation perspective. We introduce and investigate a new perspective on the value-relevance of analyst publication of LTG forecasts. We hypothesize that analysts issuing LTG forecasts signal relatively high effort and ability in developing perspective of the subject firms’ long-term prospects. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that the stock market responds more strongly to the stock recommendation revisions of analysts who publish accompanying LTG forecasts. In addition, we hypothesize and find that analysts issuing LTG forecasts are less likely to leave the profession or move to smaller brokerage houses. Consistent with Reg. FD’s intention to restrict analyst access to insider information and promote fundamental analysis of the valuation implications of firms’ long-term prospects, we find that post-Reg. FD observations drive most of our results. Overall, we identify previously undocumented benefits accruing to analysts who publish LTG forecasts.
Keywords: long-term earnings growth forecast, stock recommendations, career outcomes
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation