The Impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder on Financial Analysts
Posted: 16 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 5, 2017
We examine the impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) on financial analysts. We hypothesize and find that analysts are more pessimistic, less precise, and more asymmetric in their boldness in the fall, as indicated by their forecasts of quarterly earnings. The effects are apparent in all forecast horizons analyzed and robust across multiple specifications. Importantly, pessimism in fall forecast revisions show analyst-specific persistence, providing a strong indication that the effect is a result of SAD rather than other coincident factors. We also find evidence of a reversal in pessimism in the spring. Additional analyses show that analyst forecasts exhibit less seasonality than equity returns, and that the presence of analyst forecasts in the fall is associated with attenuation in the seasonal pattern in stock returns. Overall, the evidence suggests that SAD affects both financial analysts and equity investors, but the effect on the latter is stronger.
Keywords: Seasonal Affective Disorder, Analyst Forecasts, Market Efficiency
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14, G41, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation