Managing for the Moment: The Role of Earnings Management via Real Activities versus Accruals in SEO Valuation
Posted: 10 Jan 2012 Last revised: 31 May 2015
Date Written: May 4, 2015
We assess the role of both accruals manipulation (AM) and real activities manipulation (RAM) in inducing overvaluation at the time of a seasoned equity offering (SEO). Our results reveal that earnings management is most consistently and predictably linked with post-SEO stock market under-performance when it is driven by RAM, in particular, the opportunistic reduction of expenditures on R&D and selling, general and administrative activities. Thus, overvaluation at the time of the SEO is more likely when managers actively engage in more opaque channels to overstate earnings. Our findings are particularly relevant because managers exhibit a greater propensity for RAM at the time of SEOs, even though RAM is more costly in the long run.
Keywords: Earnings Management, Discretionary Accruals, Real Activity Manipulation, Seasoned Equity Offering, SEO Overvaluation, SEO Return Reversal, Earnings Management Opacity
JEL Classification: G14, G31, M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation