Do managers use meeting analyst forecasts to signal private information? Evidence from patent citations

Katherine Gunny, Tracey Chunqi Zhang
Journal of Business Finance & Accounting,Vol. 41, Issue 7-8, Pages: 950-973
This study examines whether firms manage earnings to meet analyst forecasts to signal superior future performance. Prior research finds that firms use earnings management to just meet analyst forecasts and that these firms have a positive association with future performance (Bartov et al., 2002). There are two potential explanations for the positive association ” signaling and attaining benefits that allow for better future performance (i.e., the real benefits explanation). Prior studies cannot provide evidence of signaling because they do not control for the real benefits explanation. Our research design enables us to control for the real benefits explanation because we can identify potential signaling firms within the sample of firms that just meet analyst forecasts. We use a unique database from the National Bureau of Economic Research to construct a proxy for the manager’s belief about future firm value due to patents