10K Complexity and the Market Efficiency and Information Asymmetry Implications of Analysts’ Annual Earnings Forecasts
50 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 19, 2019
This paper examines whether 10K complexity has unintended consequences in terms of impairing price discovery in capital markets. More specifically, we examine the impact -- on market efficiency and information asymmetry -- of sell-side financial analysts’ first revised forecasts following publication of high- versus low-complexity 10Ks. We hypothesize that: (1) analyst underreaction to 10K-related information increases with complexity, (2) the impact of analyst underreaction on stock price efficiency increases with 10K complexity, and (3) the generally mitigating effect of analysts’ forecasts on information asymmetry documented in prior literature dissipates with 10K complexity. Our results are consistent with these hypotheses. Together, our results suggest that analyst forecasting behavior in response to complex 10K-related information constrains price discovery by creating market frictions due to market inefficiency and information asymmetry.
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