Alex Young, assistant professor of accounting in the Department of Accounting, Finance, and Information System, has a new publication appearing in Accounting and Business Research:
Do analysts affect bad news timeliness? (Click link to view article)
I investigate the effect of analysts on the speed with which bad news is reflected in earnings. Intuitively, the more analysts that cover a firm, the more costly it will be for the firm to keep bad news suppressed. Thus, analyst coverage should positively affect bad news timeliness (BNT) (but not necessarily the differential timeliness of bad news over good news, or conditional conservatism). Using brokerage house mergers as a natural experiment with a difference-in-differences design, I find that an exogenous decrease in analyst coverage decreases BNT; that is, analysts positively affect BNT. The decrease in BNT is robust to controlling for unobserved firm heterogeneity, using a propensity score matched sample, persists for up to three years after the brokerage house merger, and is stronger for firms with relatively low analyst coverage before the merger. The result improves our understanding of how analysts affect a firm's information environment.