Does Street Earnings Matter More than GAAP Earnings for CEO Turnovers?

Accounting

Speaker:Gilad Livne, University of Exeter
Date: Wednesday 9 November 2016
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Kolade Teaching Room. Building One

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Abstract

Street earnings, a non-GAAP measure of profitability, has become the focal point of communication between managers, investors and financial analysts. We therefore ask: Is it also used by boards in CEO retention decisions? We provide evidence that the likelihood and speed of CEO forced turnover is negatively related to GAAP earnings and is unrelated to street earnings. We also find that increasing analysts’ expectations of street earnings reduces the likelihood and speed of forced turnover, suggesting that downward expectation management can be costly to managers. Overall, our results suggest that internally boards rely on GAAP earnings as a leading monitoring device although under Regulation G non-GAAP earnings are of higher quality. That boards do not rely on street earnings suggests they are less informative than GAAP earnings. This incongruity between internal and external performance measures raises a concern that boards are complicit in the deployment of street earnings as a perception-management tool.