Number of Numbers: Does Quantitative Textual Disclosure Reduce Information Risk?
51 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2021 Last revised: 19 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 19, 2021
Theoretical research argues that numbers convey more precise information than words. Based on this work, we hypothesize that when managers provide disclosure with a greater proportion of quantitative information, information risk will decrease and firm value will increase. We offer three main findings. First, after controlling for the cash flow news in earnings conference calls, we find a positive association between the extent of hard information (i.e., numerical disclosure) and short-window stock returns around the call. This result suggests that information risk decreases when managers provide greater numerical disclosure. Second, we find that this positive association is larger when firms’ information environment is otherwise poor. Finally, we find that this positive association is larger when uncertainty about firm performance is higher (i.e., when the firm issues a negative earnings surprise). Overall, our results suggest that investors react to the extent of hard information (i.e., numerical disclosure) in earnings conference calls.
Keywords: Quantitative Disclosure, Numerical Information, Earnings Conference Calls, Voluntary Disclosure, Textual Analysis
JEL Classification: G14, G12, M41, G10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation