Earnings Forecasts Disclosure Regulation and Earnings Management by IPO Firms
Posted: 3 Nov 2003
This study examines whether a regulation on mandatory disclosure of earnings forecasts encourages managers to issue more optimistic earnings forecasts, and whether the optimistic forecasts are revised downward or the reported earnings are managed upward using discretionary accruals to reduce the forecast error. Additionally, it evaluates how investors react to earnings management and forecast revisions. The study is based on 760 forecasts issued by Taiwan IPO firms from 1991 to 2000 after the regulation to issue the earnings forecasts was imposed by the Taiwan Securities and Futures Exchange Commission (TSFEC) and it also uses a sample of 86 IPO firms prior to the issue of regulation.
The results show that the IPO firms issue more optimistic forecasts than conservative forecasts. They adjust their reported earnings of optimistic forecasts upward with discretionary accruals more than revising the earnings forecasts downward, whereas they revise conservative forecasts upward more than adjusting the reported earnings downward. The results on the comparative analysis of earnings management by IPO firms before and after issuance of the TSFEC regulation provide additional support to the findings that earnings management by IPO firms increased significantly after the regulation was imposed. The results on investors' reaction to reported earnings show that investors reacted positively to higher reported earnings compared to the last revision of forecasts and they ignored the upward adjustment of reported earnings. Their reaction has been negative to downward revisions and positive to upward revisions.
JEL Classification: M41, M45, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation