Accruals Quality and Analyst Coverage
42 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2006
Date Written: December 2006
We examine the relation between analyst coverage and accruals quality. Because accrual accounting requires managers to estimate the future economic consequences of current events, accruals reflect estimation errors and potential managerial opportunism. This may lower accruals quality and provide noisier signals of firm value. If investors turn to analysts for supplemental information, then demand for analyst services will increase as accruals quality decreases. Because lower accruals quality increases the value of their services, analysts have greater incentives to cover firms with low accruals quality. Our results support these hypotheses. Although firms with low accruals quality have greater analyst coverage and forecast revisions, we also find they have larger forecast errors and dispersion. Thus, analysts are unable to fully resolve the uncertainty in accruals. This is consistent with accruals reflecting information risk.
Keywords: Analyst Forecasts, Analyst Coverage, Accruals Quality
JEL Classification: C21, C22, G10, G12, G29, M41, M43
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