Assessing the Accuracy of Forward-Looking Information in Debt Contract Negotiations: Management Forecast Accuracy and Private Loans
52 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2015 Last revised: 5 Jun 2020
Date Written: March 13, 2019
We examine a possible mechanism by which the lender can evaluate the borrower’s ability to produce accurate forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is important to lenders to project the borrower’s future performance and the loan’s expected payoff. However, unlike historical financial statements, forward-looking information cannot be verified by lenders or external auditors. We contend that the borrower’s past forecast accuracy provides a measure that allows the lender to assess the borrower’s ability to produce accurate forward-looking information, allowing the lender to gain greater confidence in the borrower’s projections of future value. Consistent with this argument, we find that the borrower’s past forecast accuracy is negatively associated with the loan’s initial interest spread. We also find that this relation is concentrated among non-relationship loans and borrowers with greater earnings volatility. Finally, we find that debt contracts to borrowers with more accurate managerial forecasts exhibit less interest rate mispricing.
Keywords: Debt Contracting; Cost of Debt; Management Forecasts; Voluntary Disclosure
JEL Classification: G30, M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation