بخشی از مقاله (انگلیسی)
Purpose – Recent studies on the securities market’s differential pricing of earnings components indicate that cash flows from operations are valued more highly than extreme total accruals. However, no previous study has examined whether cash flows from operations have a higher valuation than moderate total accruals. Therefore, this study examines the securities market’s differential pricing of cash flows from operations and both moderate and extreme total accruals
Design/methodology/approach – The study’s sample is divided into two sub-samples: a moderate total accruals sub-sample; and an extreme total accruals sub-sample. To evaluate whether cash flows have a higher valuation when compared to total accruals, for the entire sample and for each of the two sub-samples, the study examines the statistical significance of the difference between slope coefficients of cash flows and total accruals for regression of returns on both unexpected cash flows from operations and unexpected total accruals
Findings – Consistent with prior research, results from the entire sample show a differential higher valuation of cash flows when compared to total accruals. Another finding, consistent with recent studies, is that cash flows from operations have a higher valuation when compared to extreme total accruals. However, there is no higher differential valuation of cash flows over moderate total accruals. These findings support the decomposition of earnings into the components of cash flows from operations and total accruals only when total accruals are extreme (rather than moderate).
Practical implications – A possible explanation for these results is that since accruals predict cash flows, total accruals – when moderate (i.e. not extreme) – are priced similarly to cash flows. These results reveal that when total accruals are moderate, earnings are a better proxy for the underlying cash flows (over the entire future horizon, not just the current period) than is cash flows. However, since total accruals are unlikely to persist in a permanent way over the years, these results indicate that the decomposition of earnings into the components of cash flows from operations and total accruals is consistent with the information set used to value equity securities. Therefore, separate disclosure of cash flows is value relevant. In addition, users of financial statements certainly need the cash flows information as an ex-post validation of the prior earnings.
Originality/value – This study’s contribution stems from its determination of the preferred level of disaggregation of earnings components (i.e. operating cash flows and total accruals). This is expected to help investors in their attempt to enhance the outcome of their informed investment and credit decisions.
Reported numbers can be considered informative if they assist investors in making more informed decisions. When stock prices change in response to reported numbers, it can be presumed that investors’ valuation, buying, and selling decisions are influenced by reported numbers. It follows that reported numbers inform their decisions. Earnings can be divided into total accruals and cash flows from operations . Earnings components (i.e. operating cash flows and total accruals) can be considered incrementally informative in relation to total earnings if they assist investors in making decisions that are more informed compared to those made when only the total is known. For example, if investors think that current cash flows are more or less informative when compared to total accruals with respect to their ability to predict future cash flows, then they are likely to be interested in learning about these earnings components and not simply total earnings. Identifying the preferred level of disaggregation regarding the elements of earnings can assist investors in making more effective investment and lending decisions. With these considerations in mind, the present study seeks to investigate the differential price of earnings components in the securities market.
5.1 Stock returns and earnings components for the entire sample Table 2 presents the results regarding the relationship between stock returns and earnings components (i.e. cash flows from operations and total accruals) for the entire sample. The sum of the coefficients for the level and change in cash flows (α1þα3) is 1.218 (t 5 6.743), which is significant and positive at the 1% level. The sum of the coefficients for the level and change in total accruals (α2þα4) is 0.699 (t 5 11.311), which is significant and positive at the 1% level. These results suggest that both cash flows from operations and total accruals have incremental information content beyond each other.