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Analyst reaction to non-articulation between the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows

Peter Frischmann, K.C. Lin and Dilin Wang

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 2019, vol. 21, issue 1, 163-184

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of non-articulation on analyst earnings forecast quality. The authors look for evidence on the relationship between non-articulation and analyst earnings forecast properties: forecast inaccuracy, forecast dispersion and forecast bias. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical tests are primarily based analyst earnings and cash flow forecasts covered by Institutional Broker Estimate System and financial statement information obtained from Compustat North America database. Findings - The authors hypothesize and find that non-articulation is positively related to analyst forecast dispersion, forecast accuracy and forecast bias for one-year ahead of earnings. The effects of non-articulation on analyst earnings forecast inaccuracy and bias are neutralized when the analyst issues a cash flow forecast and when such forecast provides accurate information regarding the forecasted firm’s operating cash flow. On the other hand, cash flow forecast issuance alone does not mitigate the negative influence of non-articulation. Research limitations/implications - The sample selection procedure limits the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications - The findings confirm CFA Institute and prior research asserting that non-articulation deteriorates the quality of earnings forecasts by financial statement users (more specifically, the financial analysts). The authors add to the literature by documenting that accurate cash flow forecasts help analysts mitigate the negative influence of non-articulation on earnings forecast quality. Originality/value - It remains an empirical question whether non-articulation between the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows has an effect on financial statement users’ ability to assimilate financial information. The paper highlights the detrimental effect of non-articulation by documenting the relationship between the non-articulation and the quality of earnings expectation.

Keywords: Cash flow forecast; Articulation errors; Earnings forecast; Non-articulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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