Analyst Information Discovery and Interpretation Roles: A Topic Modeling Approach
51 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2014 Last revised: 10 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 6, 2016
This study examines analyst information intermediary roles using a textual analysis of analyst reports and corporate disclosures. We employ a topic modeling methodology from computational linguistic research to compare the thematic content of a large sample of analyst reports issued promptly after earnings conference calls with the content of the calls themselves. We show that analysts discuss exclusive topics beyond those from conference calls and interpret topics from conference calls. In addition, we find that investors place a greater value on new information in analyst reports when managers face greater incentives to withhold value-relevant information. Analyst interpretation is particularly valuable when the processing costs of conference call information increase. Finally, we document that investors react to analyst report content that simply confirms managers’ conference call discussions. Overall, our study shows that analysts play the information intermediary roles by discovering information beyond corporate disclosures and by clarifying and confirming corporate disclosures.
Keywords: Financial Analysts; Conference Calls; Information Content; Textual Analysis; Topic Modeling
JEL Classification: M41; G24; D82; D83; C11
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