Earnings announcement promotions: a Yahoo Finance field experiment



Publishing details

Social Sciences Research Network

Authors / Editors

Lawrence A; Ryans J P; Sun E; Laptev N


Publication Year



This study presents a natural field experiment in which media articles for a random sample of firms with earnings announcements are promoted to a one percent subset of Yahoo Finance users. The promoted firms have similar fundamental and earnings-news characteristics as control firms, yet we find that promoted firms have higher abnormal returns on the day of the earnings announcement, and some evidence of lower bid-ask spreads. Moreover, these results are more pronounced for less visible firms. We do not find evidence of significant increases in trading volume, or of information acquisition by users subject to the promotion. These findings suggest that investor attention affects the pricing of earnings and that retail investors buy stocks that catch their attention, in a setting where attention is randomly assigned.


Investor attention; Media articles; Earnings responses; Capital markets field experiment; Abnormal returns; Retail investors

Series Number



Social Sciences Research Network