Biased Forecasts or Biased Earnings? The Role of Reported Earnings in Explaining Apparent Bias and Over/Underreaction in Analysts' Earnings Forecasts
Posted: 7 Jan 2004
The extensive literature that investigates whether analysts' earnings forecasts are biased and/or inefficient has produced a history of conflicting evidence and no definitive answers to either question. This paper shows how two relatively small but statistically influential asymmetries in the tail and the middle of distributions of analysts' forecast errors can exaggerate or obscure evidence consistent with analyst bias and inefficiency, leading to inconsistent inferences. We identify an empirical link between firms' recognition of unexpected accruals and the presence of the two asymmetries in distributions of forecast errors that suggests that firm reporting choices play an important role in determining analysts' forecast errors.
JEL Classification: G29, M41, M43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation