The Change In Financial Analysts' Forecast Attributes For Value And Growth Stocks
De Jong, Pieter
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This research will concentrate on the changes in earnings forecasts, forecast accuracy and forecast dispersion for growth and value stocks after Reg FD. Each topic is presented in a separate essay. The first essay tests if growth and value stock returns respond more to forecasted earnings changes than they do to changes in earnings and whether these stock returns respond in a different fashion before and after Reg FD. This phenomenon is stronger for growth stock portfolio strategies than it is for value stock portfolios. After Reg FD, the overall impact of earnings expectations on stock returns is smaller, especially for growth stock returns. The second essay examines financial analysts' earnings forecast accuracy in value and growth stocks before and after the introduction of Reg FD. Accuracy for both stock groups (value and growth stocks) has improved after the introduction of Reg FD. The results in this essay provide additional evidence indicating that analysts did not just misinterpret available news but consciously tried to maintain relationships with managers. However, Reg FD efficiently limited these relationships between managers of growth firms and analysts so that the monetary advantage from manipulating earnings forecasts before the introduction of Reg FD no longer exists. The third essay evaluates the hypothesis stating that forecast dispersion, on both growth and value stock returns, has increased after the introduction Reg FD. However, the increased dispersion found at the second quarter of 2001 drastically dissipates at the second quarter of 2002, although value stock forecast dispersion before earnings announcement and value stock belief jumbling remain higher. The results in this essay suggest that corporate voluntary disclosure created a greater variety of opinions and, therefore, more uncertainty about value stocks. Also, value stock returns have a stronger inverse relationship with dispersion because financial analysts have become more uncertain about value firms' performance. The bigger the disagreement about a stock's value, the higher the market price relative to the true value of the stock, and the lower its future return.