Real Earnings Management, Habitually Meeting/closely Beating Analysts' Forecasts, And Firms' Long-term Economic Performance
MetadataShow full item record
Real earnings management (REM) has gained more attention due to its more extensive application than that before the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Analysts' earnings forecast is an important benchmark for both the investors and the managers. Gunny (2010) finds that the signaling of future prospects overcomes the possibility of opportunism in firms that occasionally use REM to meet/closely beat benchmarks. However, the effect of repeatedly using REM to meet/beat earnings benchmarks has not been explored. This paper examines the long-term economic performance (Tobin's Q) of firms that utilize REM to habitually meet/closely beat analysts' earnings forecasts (HabitMBE). The results suggest that in equilibrium, while HabitMBE firms in general enjoy a market premium, HabitMBE firms that use REM repeatedly are penalized by investors, and the market premium disappears. Not surprisingly, I find that HabitMBE firms that have already used REM repeatedly try to curtail its use - a finding that is not found for occasional REM meeting/close beating firms.Another interesting finding of this study is that analysts' downward forecast revision in the long-run has a significantly negative effect on firms' economic performance, which prior studies have not clearly documented.