The Persistence and Forecast Accuracy of Earnings Components in the USA and Japan
Posted: 27 Jun 2000
Not all components of earnings are expected to provide similar information regarding future earnings. For example, basic financial statement analysis indicates that the persistence of ordinary income should be greater than the persistence of special, extraordinary, or discontinued operations. Because the market assigns higher multiples to earnings components that are more persistent, differentiating earnings components on the basis of relative persistence would appear to be useful. A focus on relative predictive value is consistent with research findings and user recommendations on separating earnings components that are persistent or permanent from those that are transitory or temporary. This paper examines the persistence and forecast accuracy of earnings components for retail and manufacturing companies listed in the world's two largest equity markets; the USA and Japan. We find the forecast accuracy of earnings in both the USA and Japan increases with greater disaggregation of earnings components. The results further indicate that the improvements in forecast accuracy due to earnings disaggregation are greater in the USA than in Japan. The greater emphasis and more detailed guidelines for reporting earnings components in the USA produce a better differentiation in the persistence of earnings components resulting in greater forecast improvements from earnings disaggregation.
JEL Classification: M41, M44, M45
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