Taxable Income, Future Profitability, and Stock Returns
Posted: 27 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 3, 2020
Prior research suggests that investors behave “as if” taxable income contains information about future performance by providing evidence of a positive association between taxable income and stock returns. We draw on the fundamental analysis literature and provide direct evidence on this assertion by examining whether taxable income predicts future pretax performance. We find that taxable income positively predicts future pretax cash flows, pretax book income, and “Street” pretax earnings, suggesting that taxable income provides incremental information to book income regarding performance. Moreover, we find a positive association between taxable income and analysts’ pretax forecasts, consistent with analysts utilizing the information in taxable income when forming earnings expectations. We do not find an association between taxable income and future analyst forecast errors, implying analysts do not overreact or underreact to taxable income's performance signal. Overall, we find that taxable income provides a signal of fundamental value and corroborate the implications of prior research.
Keywords: analyst forecasts, fundamental analysis, taxable income
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