Hyperbole or Reality? Investor Response to Extreme Language in Earnings Conference Calls
The Accounting Review, Forthcoming
Posted: 19 May 2016 Last revised: 12 Jul 2019
Date Written: May 18, 2016
We develop a dictionary of linguistic extremity in earnings conference calls, a setting where managers have considerable latitude in the language they use, to study the role of extreme language in corporate reporting. Controlling for tone (positive vs. negative) of language, we document that when managers use more extreme words in earnings conference calls, trading volume around the call increases and stock prices react more strongly. In addition, both effects are more pronounced for firms with weaker information environments. Linguistic extremity also affects analyst opinions and contains information about a firm's future operating performance. As such, our results provide evidence that markets are influenced not just by what managers say, but also how they say it, with extreme language playing an important role in communicating reality and not merely reflecting hyperbole.
Keywords: Extreme Language; Tone; Market Reactions; Analyst Revisions; Future Performance; Earnings Conference Calls
JEL Classification: G10; G20; G30; M4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation