The impact of disclosure reform and alternative sources of earnings-related information on the market reaction to firm-based earnings-related disclosures
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Our study seeks to investigate changes in the market reaction to earnings-related disclosures following the introduction of the New Zealand continuous disclosure reform. We further extend to study whether these changes are different when there exist the alternative sources of earnings-related information. Using the sample of 580 earnings forecasts and 626 earnings announcements released by 94 firms listed on the New Zealand Exchange during the financial reporting periods ending from 31 January 1999 to 31 December 2005, we find evidence that the introduction of the disclosure reform has impacted to the market reaction to earnings related disclosures and the availability of alternative sources of earnings-related information plays an important role in shaping this impact. Specifically, the market places less emphasis on post-disclosure reform management earnings forecasts issued by firms of which the alternative sources of earnings-related information are available. There is a significant reduction in the market reaction to earnings announcements in the post-disclosure reform period. This reduction is mainly driven by group of earnings announcements issued by firms of which the alternative sources of earnings-related information are not available. These findings suggest that while the enhancement of disclosure regulation in New Zealand is considered to have some positive impact on the financial environment which is consistent with regulatory intent, the regulators should be aware that the benefits from this disclosure regulation may not be universal and thus the increase in compliance costs borne by all firms could not accordingly be equally justified.
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