We present new evidence that highlights the role of information intermediaries in the distribution and processing of earnings estimates in capital markets. We find that the time taken to activate an analyst’s earnings forecast in the Thomson Reuters Institutional Brokers’ Estimate System is related to measures of investor demand for timely information processing, processing difficulty, and limited attention. Furthermore, we find that forecast announcement returns are muted and post-announcement drift is magnified for forecasts with longer unexpected activation delay and that market inefficiency is concentrated in neglected stocks and is potentially exploitable. Finally, analyzing intra-day returns, we find that activations facilitate price discovery.
We examine whether analysts tip investors during investor conferences. We find that conference-day abnormal returns of a presenting company are about 0.6% higher when the conference is hosted by an analyst who will initiate coverage with a Buy recommendation than when the conference is hosted by non-initiating analysts. Furthermore, conference-day abnormal returns of the presenting company amount to half of the price run-up during the twenty trading days prior to the Buy initiation. Finally, there is a statistically and economically significant price run-up prior to a Sell initiation (by about -0.7%) when the analyst who will initiate coverage with a Sellrecommendation hosts a conference but does not invite the company to present. Our findings collectively suggest that analysts, rather than companies, tip select investors about upcoming initiations during conferences.
Abstract We examine whether access to management at broker-hosted investor conferences leads to more informative research by analysts. We find analyst recommendation changes have larger immediate price impacts when the analyst׳s firm has a conference-hosting relation with the company. The effect increases with hosting frequency and is strongest in the days following the conference. Conference-hosting brokers also issue more informative, accurate, and timely earnings forecasts than non-hosts. Our findings suggest that access to management remains an important source of analysts׳ informational advantage in the post-Regulation Fair Disclosure world.
The use of observed transaction sizes to differentiate between “small” and “large” investor trading patterns is widespread. A significant concern in such studies is spurious effects attributable to misclassification of transactions, particularly those originating from large investors. Such effects can arise unintentionally, strategically, or endogenously. We examine comprehensive records of a sample of institutional investors (i.e., “large” traders), including their order sizes and overall position changes, to assess the degree to which such misclassifications give rise to spurious inferences about “small” and “large” investor trading activities. Our analysis shows that these institutions are heavily involved in small transaction activity. It also shows that they increase their order sizes substantially in announcement periods relative to nonannouncement periods, presumably as an endogenous response to earnings news. In the immediate earnings announcement period, transaction size-based inferences about directional trading are quite misleading—producing spurious “small trader” effects and, more surprisingly, erroneous inferences about “large trader” activity.
Abstract We examine the determinants and consequences of broker-hosted investor conferences. We find the number of brokers hosting a firm at conferences is positively related to institutional ownership and intangible assets, consistent with greater client demand for management access among hard-to-value firms. Younger firms and those that issue equity in the future attend more conferences, suggesting firms view conference participation as a means to enhance investor recognition. Hosting brokers are rewarded with increased commission revenue. Commission share increases by 0.61% during the conference week, with larger increases following more informative conference disclosures. Firms also benefit from conference participation. In the subsequent year, conference firms are followed by an additional 0.34 analysts, undergo a 6% reduction in bid-ask spread, and experience a 0.03 increase in Tobin׳s q.