Investor communications around adverse earnings shocks

Jean-Paul Carvalho

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    207 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] A spate of sudden, high-profile corporate collapses has raised serious concerns over the degree to which managers are open and honest about poor financial performance. Corporate failures such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco in the United States and One.tel and HIH in Australia have advanced the view that internal governance mechanisms and private managerial incentives systematically fail to ensure timely and reliable disclosure of bad news (e.g. Jensen, 2004). This thesis appraises the conventional view by investigating managers’ communications with the capital market during a period of sudden, poor financial performance. We study 74 firms that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange [ASX], which experience an adverse earnings shock between 1994 and 1999. An adverse earnings shock is defined as a year of positive, increasing net income, followed by two contiguous years of negative or declining net income. The Australian setting for this study provides access to a richer database of investor communications than previously utilised in the literature, including management discussion and analysis, strategy disclosures, earnings and revenue forecasts, earnings preannouncements, business segment forecasts, dividend changes and share repurchases. Exploiting this extensive data set, we find that managers actually step up their investor communications activities around an adverse earnings shock. In the low litigation Australian setting, we are able to rule out litigation-avoidance incentives as a major explanatory factor. We investigate whether the increase in the volume of investor communications is aimed at mitigating information asymmetry, signalling a turnaround in financial performance or simply due to management “hype”
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2005

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