Conditional Persistence of Earnings Components and Accounting Anomalies
Journal of Business, Finance & Accounting, Forthcoming
42 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2015
Date Written: July 3, 2015
We suggest that the failure of investors to distinguish between an earnings component’s autocorrelation coefficient (unconditional persistence) and the marginal contribution of that component’s persistence to the persistence of earnings (conditional persistence) provides a partial explanation to the post-earnings-announcement drift, the post-revenue-announcement drift, and the accrual anomaly. When the conditional persistence of revenue surprises is high (low) relative to its unconditional persistence, both the post-earnings-announcement drift and the post-revenue-announcement drift are high (low), because investors’ under-reaction to revenues and earnings is stronger when the persistence of revenue surprises is more strongly associated with the persistence of earnings surprises. Also, the mispricing of accruals decreases substantially when the conditional persistence of accruals is high relative to its unconditional persistence, because investors’ over-reaction to accruals is mitigated when the persistence of accruals is indeed more strongly associated with the persistence of earnings. Our findings also suggest that financial analysts’ failure to distinguish between unconditional and conditional persistence of revenues and accruals results in more biased revenue and earnings predictions.
Keywords: earnings components, persistence, post-earnings-announcement drift, accrual anomaly, forecast errors
JEL Classification: G12, G14, M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation