Managing Earnings Surprises in the U.S. Versus 12 Other Countries
26 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2000 Last revised: 1 Apr 2014
This paper examines whether managers in the U.S. manage earnings, profits and losses surprises to a greater extent than do managers in 12 other countries. We expect managers in the U.S. to be more likely to manage earnings, profits and losses surprises than do managers in other countries since U.S. managers have greater incentives to monitor current price performance. These incentives include greater equity ownership by top executives, more monitoring by institutional and large shareholders, a larger number of outside directors on their board of directors, a greater threat of external takeovers, and a more litigious environment. Consistent with our expectations, we find that managers in the U.S. manage earnings surprises relatively more than do managers in 12 other countries. More specifically, U.S. managers are more likely to manage profits surprises than do managers in all 12 other countries examined, and they are more likely to manage losses surprises than do managers in all other countries except Japan, the only country requiring managers to forecast earnings. We also expect U.S. managers to be more likely to manage analysts' estimates, given their extensive public relations departments and their greater incentives to manage earnings surprises. Our evidence bears out our contention.
JEL Classification: M41, M43, K22, G32, G34
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