Talk about the Coronavirus Pandemic: Initial Evidence from Corporate Disclosures

51 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020

See all articles by Victor Xiaoqi Wang

Victor Xiaoqi Wang

California State University, Long Beach

Betty (Bin) Xing

Baylor University

Date Written: April 26, 2020


The novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become the world’s center of attention in 2020. In this paper, we examine firm disclosures of COVID-19 during the first quarter of 2020, a time when firms face tremendous uncertainty and have little guidance on what and how to disclose. We compare Coronavirus-related disclosures in SEC filings and earnings conference calls with the timeline of the spread of the disease and with information gathering and disseminating activities in Google searches and news articles. We find that initial corporate disclosures are driven by information demand, and firm managers are proactive in providing information to investors. Our topic modelling analysis shows that although firms recognize the massive impact of the pandemic on their operations, their disclosures in SEC filings are general and lack specifics. Finally, we find that analysts are proactive in raising questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 during the Q&A session of the conference calls, and that firm managers are quick to provide necessary disclosures in the presentation session as the pandemic develops.

Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pandemics, Corporate disclosures, Earnings conference calls, SEC filings, Google Trends, News articles, Sentiment analysis, Textual analysis, Topic modelling

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Wang, Victor Xiaoqi and Xing, Betty (Bin), Talk about the Coronavirus Pandemic: Initial Evidence from Corporate Disclosures (April 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Victor Xiaoqi Wang (Contact Author)

California State University, Long Beach ( email )

1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840
United States

Betty (Bin) Xing

Baylor University ( email )

1 Bear Pl # 78002
Waco, TX Texas 76798-0006
United States
5195909329 (Phone)

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