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Keywords:

  • Earnings quality;
  • Earnings management;
  • Cash holdings;
  • Value of cash
  • G31;
  • G32

Abstract

Poor earnings quality exacerbates information asymmetry between internal and external stakeholders of a firm. Agency considerations then persuade investors to discount the value of corporate cash holdings out of concern about the inappropriate use of funds. In this study, we show that poor earnings quality has a negative impact on the value of corporate cash holdings and a positive impact on the level of cash reserves. We find that the negative effect of poor earnings quality either neutralizes or more than offsets the positive effect of excess cash on firm value. Our results are robust to several measures of earnings quality and model specifications.