Asymmetric Timeliness in Earnings: Insights from Earnings Disaggregation
48 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 23, 2020
We revisit the asymmetric timeliness of earnings as proposed by Basu (1997). For a large sample of US firm years from 1970-2019, we show that earnings are asymmetrically timely with respect to bad economic news, and that this is robust to the declining timeliness of good news, different time periods, changes in accounting standards and changes in sample firms. When we disaggregate earnings into its market, industry and firm idiosyncratic sources, it is apparent that asymmetrical timeliness is restricted to the idiosyncratic component. This result supports the argument in Watts (2003), that asymmetric timeliness is primarily a response to information asymmetry issues in contracts that rely on accounting information.
Keywords: Capital markets, Conservatism, Asymmetric Timeliness, Earnings-return relation, Negative returns, Market, Industry, Profitability, Firm-specific estimates
JEL Classification: D82, G14, M41, N20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation