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Keywords:

  • differences of opinion;
  • short-sale constraints;
  • management earnings guidance;
  • earnings announcements;
  • market efficiency

Abstract

Berkman, Dimitrov, Jain, Koch, and Tice (2009) document a negative relationship between differences of opinion and earnings announcement returns, and this relationship is more pronounced when short-sale constraints are likely to be high. These findings are interpreted as support for the theory in Miller (1977) that binding short sale constraints cause pessimists to be underrepresented in price formation. We conjecture that accounting information (i.e., earnings news) is likely to play a role in this returns pattern. After controlling for the level of earnings news, we find that the relationship between differences of opinion and stock returns is either eliminated or opposite from what is predicted by Miller's theory. Further, we present evidence that suggests the confounding effect of earnings news can be explained by (pessimistic) management earnings guidance. Our findings offer an alternative explanation for why low differences of opinion stocks earn greater abnormal returns around earnings announcements.