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An investigation into the effect of surplus free cash flow, corporate governance and firm size on earnings predictability

An investigation into the effect of surplus free cash flow, corporate governance and firm size on... Purpose – Existing studies on corporate governance mainly focus on how a strong governance system enhances the valuation of firms with cash holding or free cash flow agency problem. The aims of this paper are threefold. First, it investigates the impact of surplus free cash flows (SFCF) on earnings predictability. Second, it investigates whether corporate governance variables moderate the negative impact of SFCF on earnings predictability. Finally, this study examines whether the ability of corporate governance to mitigate SFCF and improve the predictive value of earnings varies between large and small firms. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses heteroskedasticity‐corrected least square regressions upon a sample of Malaysian listed firms. Findings – This paper finds that firms with high SFCF experience less earnings predictability. It also indicates that earnings of firms with high SFCF are more predictable when institutional investors hold a large stake of shares and when a chairperson is independent. Finally, this paper reveals that the role of institutional and managerial ownership in mitigating agency conflict of free cash flow and improving earnings predictability is more prominent in larger firms. This study implies that investors still have reservations about the ability of boards to enhance earnings numbers in Malaysia, although efforts were taken to reform the corporate governance mechanisms following the Asian financial crisis. Originality/value – This research is considered as the first attempt to examine the relationships between SFCF, corporate governance, firm size, and earnings predictability in a developing county such as Malaysia. The findings of this paper serve as a wake‐up call to policy makers to evaluate the importance of governance structure in enhancing earnings predictability in emerging economies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Accounting and Information Management Emerald Publishing

An investigation into the effect of surplus free cash flow, corporate governance and firm size on earnings predictability

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1834-7649
DOI
10.1108/IJAIM-05-2013-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Existing studies on corporate governance mainly focus on how a strong governance system enhances the valuation of firms with cash holding or free cash flow agency problem. The aims of this paper are threefold. First, it investigates the impact of surplus free cash flows (SFCF) on earnings predictability. Second, it investigates whether corporate governance variables moderate the negative impact of SFCF on earnings predictability. Finally, this study examines whether the ability of corporate governance to mitigate SFCF and improve the predictive value of earnings varies between large and small firms. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses heteroskedasticity‐corrected least square regressions upon a sample of Malaysian listed firms. Findings – This paper finds that firms with high SFCF experience less earnings predictability. It also indicates that earnings of firms with high SFCF are more predictable when institutional investors hold a large stake of shares and when a chairperson is independent. Finally, this paper reveals that the role of institutional and managerial ownership in mitigating agency conflict of free cash flow and improving earnings predictability is more prominent in larger firms. This study implies that investors still have reservations about the ability of boards to enhance earnings numbers in Malaysia, although efforts were taken to reform the corporate governance mechanisms following the Asian financial crisis. Originality/value – This research is considered as the first attempt to examine the relationships between SFCF, corporate governance, firm size, and earnings predictability in a developing county such as Malaysia. The findings of this paper serve as a wake‐up call to policy makers to evaluate the importance of governance structure in enhancing earnings predictability in emerging economies.

Journal

International Journal of Accounting and Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 29, 2014

Keywords: Ownership structure; Governance structure; Firm size; Earnings predictability; Surplus free cash flow

References