This study examines properties of analysts' cash flow forecasts and compares them to those exhibited by analysts' earnings forecasts. Our results indicate that analysts' cash flow forecasts are less accurate than analysts' earnings forecasts and improve at a slower rate during the forecast period. Further, cash flow forecasts appear to be a naive extension of analysts' earnings forecasts, thus providing limited information on expected changes in working capital. We also find that analysts' forecasts of cash flows are of limited information content and are only weakly associated with stock returns. Finally, estimating expected accruals as the difference between analysts' earnings forecasts and their cash flow forecasts does not result in a better detection of earnings management than achieved by commonly used accrual models.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics