Say it Again Sam: The Idiosyncratic Information Content of Corporate Conference Calls

35 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2014 Last revised: 31 Jul 2014

See all articles by Jim Cicon

Jim Cicon

University of Central Missouri

Date Written: July 29, 2014


This paper examines the idiosyncratic information-content of corporate conference calls. It studies the determinants, and the consequences, of idiosyncratic information production. To facilitate this study, I develop a novel measure of information-content which analyzes every (idiosyncratic) word choice made by management during both sessions of the call. In a sample of S&P 1500 firms from 2001 to 2012, this new measure of information-content explains cumulative abnormal returns. It shows how CEOs produce (suppress) information during the conference call. It shows how analyst participation in the call improves information production. It shows that a differential value is placed on information conditioned on the market segment of the firm. I contrast the effectiveness of this new measure to that of the conventional methodologies of tone and word-counting. I provide evidence that this new information-content measure is better suited to conference calls than are the other two.

Keywords: conference calls, information content, content analysis, firm performance, textual analysis, information, corporate goverance

JEL Classification: G14, G29, M41, M10, C00

Suggested Citation

Cicon, James, Say it Again Sam: The Idiosyncratic Information Content of Corporate Conference Calls (July 29, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

James Cicon (Contact Author)

University of Central Missouri ( email )

Warrensburg, MO 64093-5070
United States

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