Earnings Comparability, Accounting Similarities, and Stock Returns: Evidence from Peer Firms’ Earnings Restatements

46 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2011 Last revised: 11 Apr 2017

John L. Campbell

University of Georgia - J.M. Tull School of Accounting

P. Eric Yeung

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: June 9, 2016

Abstract

Using a sample of earnings restatements, we provide evidence that an empirical measure of the comparability in two firms’ earnings (“earnings comparability”) captures the extent to which a firm’s accounting choices and estimates are similar to those of its restating peer firm. We then document that investors appear to underreact to the implications of this earnings comparability signal. Additional analysis reveals that large traders and short-sellers react in a timely manner, and their trades trigger an immediate negative price reaction to earnings comparability. Small traders appear to behave inattentively, and their herding-driven delayed trades contribute to a negative drift in prices.

Suggested Citation

Campbell, John L. and Yeung, P. Eric, Earnings Comparability, Accounting Similarities, and Stock Returns: Evidence from Peer Firms’ Earnings Restatements (June 9, 2016). Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1966715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1966715

John L. Campbell

University of Georgia - J.M. Tull School of Accounting ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
United States
706.542.3595 (Phone)
706.542.3630 (Fax)

P. Eric Yeung (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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