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Explaining firms’ earnings announcement stock returns using FactSet and I/B/E/S data feeds


Review of Accounting Studies



Publishing details

Review of Accounting Studies 2021 In Press

Authors / Editors

Lawrence A;Hand J;Laurion H;Martin N

Publication Year



Since 2001, the number of financial statement line items forecasted by analysts and managers that I/B/E/S and FactSet capture in their data feeds has soared. Using this new data, we find that 13 item surprises—11 income statement-based and 2 cash flow statement-based analyst and management guidance surprises—reliably explain firms’ signed earnings announcement returns. No balance sheet or expense surprises are significant. The most important surprises are (i) one-quarter-ahead sales guidance surprise, (ii) analyst sales surprise, (iii) annual Street earnings guidance surprise, and (iv) analyst Street earnings surprise. We also find that the adjusted R2s of our multivariate regressions are three times higher than the adjusted R2s of univariate Street earnings surprise regressions, and that the four most important surprises account for approximately half of this increase in explanatory power.

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