54 Pages Posted: 4 May 2013 Last revised: 9 Sep 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2015
We use highly granular computational linguistics to assess the MD&A section of the 10-K as a whole. Our results show that the content of MD&A can be systematically used to explain the valuation of firms, particularly those undergoing business change, where the value relevance of financial statements is comparatively low. An important channel for this improvement is the context provided by MD&A for interpreting discretionary accruals. We find that relevant discussion takes the form of specific topics that explain the nature of business change. These topics include investment strategies, securities issuance, marketing, financial constraints and liquidity, and new agreements. Most specifically, discretionary accruals explained by the MD&A text are not associated with restatements and accounting litigation, whereas unexplained discretionary accruals do predict such misconduct.
Keywords: 10-K, MD&A, Disclosure, Value Relevance, Text Analytics, Latent Dirichlet Allocation, Discretionary Accruals
JEL Classification: G31, G38, G39, M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Ball, Christopher and Hoberg, Gerard and Maksimovic, Vojislav, Disclosure, Business Change and Earnings Quality (August 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2260371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2260371