International Earnings Announcements: Tone, Forward-looking Statements, and Informativeness
The European Accounting Review, Forthcoming
53 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 17, 2021
This paper examines two attributes of earnings press releases issued by firms cross-listed on U.S. stock exchanges: the tone and frequency of forward-looking statements. A more conservative tone and a greater proportion of forward-looking statements are often viewed as contributing to more credible disclosures. Our analysis indicates that culturally and institutionally more distant firms are generally less positive in their disclosures and include more forward-looking statements than U.S. firms. Further, we find that the tone and frequency of forward-looking statements of cross-listed firms’ earnings announcements are more informative than those of U.S. firms in predicting future firm performance, and this informativeness generally increases with the cultural and institutional distance of the home country from the U.S. In explaining market reaction to earnings announcements, tone informativeness in particular increases with the cultural distance of the home country from the U.S. Overall, in the context of home bias theory, we interpret our findings as suggesting that a cautious disclosure tone and more forward-looking information serve to mitigate potential home bias-related credibility and asymmetric information concerns arising from cultural and institutional distance.
Keywords: disclosure; tone; forward-looking; credibility; home bias; cross-listed firms
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