Analyst statements, stockholder reactions, and banking relationships : do analysts' words matter?
This dissertation investigates the immediate effects of securities analysts' statements on shareholders. Two of the most important questions posed in research on capital markets are when and how analysts matter. A time at which analysts might matter is when they make pronouncements regarding a firm or industry; ways in which they might matter is through their word choices and the context of their words in these pronouncements. The question, "Do analysts matter?," has been explored before and has been answered in terms of the securities analysts' quantitative earnings forecasts and their effects on the capital markets. I investigated the discourse used in these earnings forecasts and other statements regarding the focal firm or industry in analyst reports. Therefore, I answered the question, "Do analysts matter, as defined by their words used, and do they change investors' judgments about a firm's future prospects?" The study employed content analysis of analysts' language to determine whether the words they use in their statements cause a response in the market. The study also investigated how the analysts' language differs based on their affiliations. To examine this question, I drew on the efficient markets theory from finance. Data sources included the Chicago Centre for Research on Security Prices (CRSP) tapes and First Call analyst reports. The research applied quantitative computer text analysis, the event study methodology, and regression to test the hypotheses. By studying statements from the All-American Team analysts, the present work shows that investors do consider the pronouncement of analyst statements significant. The results demonstrate support for the idea that analyst statements have an impact on the stock market. Moreover, the statement characteristics have an incremental effect on the market response. The key findings illustrate that words in the analysts' report matter. The analyst characteristics were instrumental in deciding the words that the analysts use in their reports. Finally, analysts use words to signal information to investors when they are pressured from investment banking relationships.