Earnings Quality and Short Sellers
Posted: 9 Jun 2003
A key measure of earnings quality is the deviation of net income from operating cash flows. Sloan (1996) finds that firms with high accruals (or a large gap between net income and operating cash flow) experience a decline in earnings performance not anticipated by investors, resulting in predictable future returns. In this paper, I examine whether investors short sell securities with high accruals. Such a strategy is able to directly profit from the predictable lower future returns. Using a sample of U.S traded firms from 1990-1998, I do not find evidence that short sellers trade on the basis of information contained in accruals.
Keywords: accruals, earnings quality, returns short sellers
JEL Classification: G10, M41
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