Who reacts to what information in securities analyst reports? Direct evidence from the investor trade imbalance

Wen liang Gideon Hsieh*, Chin Shen Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a comprehensive dataset that distinguishes the buy/sell volume of four investor types, we find that foreign institutions and domestic mutual funds are the primary users of analyst reports. Their buy–sell imbalances move in tandem with analysts' signals and significantly explain the size of cumulative abnormal returns across incidents of analyst report releases. Proprietary traders' buy/sell positions are less related to analyst opinions, and individual investors emerge as de facto liquidity providers to aggressive institutions. Institutional investors respond first to stock recommendations and then use target prices as supplementary information. Earnings forecasts, which contain nuanced information, do not elicit abnormal trade imbalances for any institutional investors. We further discover that trade reactions to target prices and earnings forecasts can be viewed more as a constant multiplier of the signal rather than as an increasing or decreasing function of the signal strength. The trade imbalance caused by analyst information is found to predict next-period stock returns, although the predictive ability is for the short-term period only.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101492
JournalPacific Basin Finance Journal
Volume65
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Earnings forecasts
  • Information reaction
  • Securities analysts
  • Stock recommendations
  • Taiwan
  • Target prices
  • Trade imbalance

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