Do Stock Prices Influence Analysts’ Earnings Forecasts?
43 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 17, 2011
We examine whether current-period stock prices influence analysts’ earnings forecasts. Using an experiment with financial analysts, we find that analysts updating their earnings forecasts in response to a management earnings forecast provide different forecasts depending on the stock price reaction to management’s forecast. Lower (higher) stock price leads to lower (higher) analysts’ forecasts. Further, we demonstrate that the influence of stock price on analysts’ forecasts is moderated by uncertainty about future earnings: higher earnings uncertainty increases the influence of stock price on analysts’ forecasts. Additional analyses indicate that this effect is mediated partially by analysts’ confidence in their forecasts and appears to be unintentional. Evidence from a follow-up survey, however, indicates that some professional analysts intentionally incorporate stock price information into their earnings forecasts. Overall, our evidence suggests that the association between prior security returns and analysts’ earnings forecasts documented in prior research is due, at least in part, to professional analysts incorporating stock price information, intentionally and unintentionally, into their earnings forecasts.
Keywords: analysts’ forecasts, uncertainty, confidence, stock price
JEL Classification: M4, N2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation