Earnings Management and Firm Performance Following Open-Market Repurchases

Posted: 14 Feb 2007

See all articles by Guojin Gong

Guojin Gong

Penn State University - Smeal College of Business

Henock Louis

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business

Amy X. Sun

University of Houston

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

We provide evidence suggesting that both the post-repurchase long-term abnormal returns and the reported improvement in operating performance documented in prior studies are driven, at least partly, by pre-repurchase downward earnings management, rather than genuine growth in profitability. The average firm reports significantly negative abnormal accruals prior to open-market repurchases. The extent of the downward earnings management increases with the percentage of the company that managers repurchase and CEO ownership. The pre-repurchase abnormal accruals are also significantly negatively associated with both future operating performance and future stock performance, and the negative associations are driven almost exclusively by those firms that report the largest income-decreasing abnormal accruals prior to the repurchases. The study suggests that one reason firms experience post-repurchase abnormal returns is that the post-repurchase realized earnings growth exceeds expectations formed on the basis of the pre-repurchase deflated earnings numbers.

Keywords: Share repurchase, Earnings management, Operating performance, Stock performance

JEL Classification: G32, G34, G35, G14, M41, M43

Suggested Citation

Gong, Guojin and Louis, Henock and Sun, Amy X., Earnings Management and Firm Performance Following Open-Market Repurchases. Journal of Finance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962611

Guojin Gong (Contact Author)

Penn State University - Smeal College of Business ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States
814-863-7055 (Phone)

Henock Louis

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States
814-865-4160 (Phone)
814-863-8393 (Fax)

Amy X. Sun

University of Houston ( email )

Bauer College of Business
334 Melcher Hall, 390H
Houston, TX 77204
United States
7137435682 (Phone)

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