Earnings Predictability and Bias in Analysts? Earnings Forecasts
Posted: 3 Aug 1998
This paper examines cross-sectional differences in the optimistic behavior of financial analysts. Specifically, we investigate whether the predictive accuracy of past information (e.g., time-series of earnings, past returns, etc.) is associated with the magnitude of the bias in analysts' earnings forecasts. We posit that there is higher demand for non-public information for firms whose earnings are difficult to accurately predict than for firms whose earnings can be accurately forecasted using public information. Assuming that optimism facilitates access to management's non-public information, we hypothesize that analysts will issue more optimistic forecasts for low predictability firms than for high predictability firms. Our results support this hypothesis.
JEL Classification: G29, M41
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