Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how family firms affect analyst forecast dispersion, accuracy and optimism and how earnings smoothness as the moderating factor, affects these relationships in an emerging market context. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses the population sample of firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange from 2009 to 2010 as the research sample, which includes 963 firm-year observations. Findings: The findings show that analysts following family firms are more likely to have more dispersed, less accurate and more optimism biased forecasts than those following nonfamily firms. Earning smoothness is mainly used by nonfamily firms as a signaling strategy to improve analyst forecast quality. In contrast, earnings smoothness is mainly used by families as a garbling strategy, stimulating forecast optimism. Only earnings smoothness in family firms with a high level of family ownership concentration is likely to be signaling-oriented to improve analyst forecast accuracy and mitigate analyst optimism biases. Originality/value: Emerging markets are not only featured by prevailing principal-principal conflicts but also have multiple levels of agency conflicts among large shareholders, minority shareholders and professionally hired managers. This research reveals the multiple governance roles of family owners in affecting analyst forecast quality, including their entrenchment role in extracting private benefits of control through opaque environments and market discipline distortion role in aligning interests between managers and families without prioritizing meeting or beating analyst forecasts, both at the cost of minority shareholders. This research further disentangles the intertwined signaling oriented and garbiling oriented incentives associated with earnings smoothness under family governance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Management Science and Operations Research