Timeliness of Analysts’ Forecasts: The Information Content of Delayed Forecasts
57 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2004 Last revised: 6 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 8, 2014
We examine how analysts whose forecasts lag those of timely analysts aid the price discovery process. We classify analysts as lead and follower analysts for a given firm based on the relative timeliness of their earnings forecasts over a two-year period. We find that news in forecasts of lead analysts has a higher price impact relative to that of follower analysts and this difference in impact cannot be explained by analyst reputation or experience. The price impact of follower analysts’ forecasts is significant, although it dissipates as follower analysts become less timely. Moreover, we find that the forecast issued by even the least timely analyst conveys incremental information to the market. The significant market impact of follower analysts arises mostly due to the private information conveyed by their forecast and partly because their forecasts incorporate public information including their predecessor’s forecast. While in general the price impact of the forecast component that mimics prior information is consistent with the post-revision drift documented by prior studies, we find that this impact is significant only when the follower analyst’s forecast confirms the information conveyed by the predecessor analyst. We also find that follower analysts issue more accurate forecasts than lead analysts who appear to trade off accuracy for timeliness. Overall, we conclude that the complementary roles of timely and late forecasters combine the merits of timely and accurate information and facilitate price discovery.
JEL Classification: G29, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation