The Information in Management’s Expected Earnings Report Date: A Day Late, a Penny Short

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Abstract

Since 1995, managers of thousands of firms have voluntarily disclosed the expected date of their firm’s next quarterly earnings announcement to Thomson Financial Services Inc. These disclosures are approximately 500% more accurate than the simple time–series expected report dates used in prior accounting research. These disclosures are also informative. On average, managers who miss their own expected date eventually report earnings that fall about one penny per share below consensus forecasts for each day of delay. Investors respond by sending the price of late–announcing stocks down at the missed expected report date and continue to send them down as the reporting delay lengthens, consistent with our “day late, penny short” result. Despite this, we find that the market response at the time earnings are announced still depends on whether the announcement is early, on time, or late relative to the firm’s own expected report date.

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