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Investor Inattention and Friday Earnings Announcements




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    • DellaVigna is from the Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley. Pollet is from the Goizueta Business School, Emory University. A previous version of the paper was distributed under the title “Strategic Release of Information on Friday: Evidence from Earnings Announcements”. We thank John Campbell, David Card, Raj Chetty, James Choi, Kent Daniel, Yonca Ertimur, John Graham, David Hirshleifer, Wei Jiang, Lawrence Katz, David Laibson, Owen Lamont, Ulrike Malmendier, Maria Nondorf, Torsten Persson, Ashley Pollet, Allen Poteshman, Matthew Rabin, Jeremy Stein, Xiao-Jun Zhang, and audiences at Duke (Fuqua), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, IIES (Stockholm), London Business School, Northwestern (Kellogg), Stanford University (GSB), University College (London), UC Berkeley, UI Urbana-Champaign, University of Zürich, the Adam Smith Asset Pricing Conference (LBS), the AEA Meetings 2005, the SITE 2004 (Psychology and Economics), and the Yale Conference on Behavioral Science for valuable comments. Jessica Chan, Eric Fleekop, Richard Kim, Clarice Li, Ming Mai, Raymond Son, Matthew Stone, and Terry Yee helped collect the announcement dates from the newswires. Dan Acland, Saurabh Bhargava, and Tatyana Deryugina provided excellent research assistance.


Does limited attention among investors affect stock returns? We compare the response to earnings announcements on Friday, when investor inattention is more likely, to the response on other weekdays. If inattention influences stock prices, we should observe less immediate response and more drift for Friday announcements. Indeed, Friday announcements have a 15% lower immediate response and a 70% higher delayed response. A portfolio investing in differential Friday drift earns substantial abnormal returns. In addition, trading volume is 8% lower around Friday announcements. These findings support explanations of post-earnings announcement drift based on underreaction to information caused by limited attention.