The Effect of Regulation FD on the Properties of Management Earnings Forecasts
Posted: 22 Aug 2015
Date Written: 2012
We investigate Regulation FD’s (FD) effect on management earnings forecast properties. We posit FD’s prohibition on private manager-analyst communication reduces (increases) optimism (pessimism) in management earnings forecasts. Prior to FD, managers could avoid publicly retracting prior optimistic forecasts by privately communicating with analysts, who could lower investor expectations with a new analyst forecast. After FD, managers with optimistic forecasts must either publicly admit their optimism by issuing a new management forecast or they must negatively surprise investors at the earnings announcement. Further, FD forces managers to use public forecasts instead of private communications to establish beatable expectations. Our evidence suggests FD reduced optimism in management forecasts. This reduction in optimistic bias is not offset by an increase in pessimistic bias. Consistent with this, we further find post-FD improvements in forecast accuracy and informativeness. We find no such changes around several potentially confounding events or for foreign firms surrounding FD. Overall, our evidence suggests FD improved firms’ forecast properties (less bias, greater accuracy, and greater informativeness).
Keywords: management earnings forecasts, capital markets, regulation, disclosure
JEL Classification: G10, G38, K22, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation