FRS 3 and Analysts' Use of Earnings

Barker, Richard (2000) FRS 3 and Analysts' Use of Earnings. Accounting and Business Research, 30 (2). pp. 95-109.


This paper examines analysts' use of earnings information and draws implications for the stock market role of the financial reporting regulator. Evidence from participant observation and from interview research suggests that: first, analysts treat the announcement of earnings with immediacy and importance and, further, they make use of the components of FRS3 in extracting a measure of ‘normalised' earnings; second, analysts do not, however, have a rational economic incentive to regard accounting information as their exclusive (or even their primary) focus of interest, and therefore financial statement analysis is not necessarily their core competence; third, analysts’ interpretation and use of earnings information is rather superficial, and there is limited understanding of underlying issues of recognition and measurement, and also of the interactions between earnings and the balance sheet. Overall, the analysis suggests an important role for the financial reporting regulator in compensating for analysts' inherent ‘disinterest’ in accounting. Financial reporting standards must be designed such that their actual content is consistent with the analysts' (uninformed) expectations of this content, otherwise the analysts' limited understanding will generate false assumptions and, thereby, unintended real effects on share prices.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: financial reporting, accounting
Subject(s): Accounting
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 16:35
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2017 16:32
Funders: N/A

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