Rounding of Analyst Forecasts
Posted: 15 Mar 2005
We find that analyst forecasts of earnings per share occur in nickel intervals at a much greater frequency than do actual earnings per share. Analysts who round their earnings per share forecasts to nickel intervals exhibit characteristics of analysts that are less informed, exert less effort, and have fewer resources. Rounded forecasts are less accurate and the negative relation between rounding and forecast accuracy increases as the rounding interval goes from nickel to dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar intervals. An examination of announcement period returns provides evidence that market expectations more closely align with consensus forecasts including rounded forecasts and then correct toward the more accurate consensus forecasts excluding rounded forecasts. Finally, exclusion of rounded forecasts decreases forecast dispersion.
Keywords: Heaping, rounding, analyst forecast accuracy, dispersion
JEL Classification: D84, M41, G29
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