Takeover Protection and Managerial Myopia: Evidence from Real Earnings Management
52 Pages Posted: 5 May 2012 Last revised: 9 Aug 2012
Date Written: January 24, 2012
We examine whether takeover protection exacerbates or mitigates real earnings management (i.e., using abnormal real activities to meet near-term earnings targets). Consistent with Stein’s (1988) prediction that takeover pressure induces managerial myopia, we find that less-protected firms are associated with higher levels of real earnings management. We further disentangle the value-destroying and signaling effects of real earnings management by finding that although abnormal real activities in general are associated with lower future performance, abnormal real activities intended to just meet earnings targets are associated with higher future performance, consistent with real earnings management conveying a signal of superior future performance in addition to a general value-destroying effect. Taken together, our evidence suggests that takeover protection reduces managers’ pressure to resort to real earnings management as a costly means of signaling better future performance.
Keywords: takeover protection, real earnings management, managerial myopia
JEL Classification: M41, M43, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation