This paper investigates whether firms engaging in accelerated share repurchases (ASRs) conduct downward earnings management prior to repurchase announcements. The 'commitment' and high 'speed' of share repurchases in ASRs appear to give ASR firms stronger incentive to deflate the pre-repurchase earnings than open market repurchase (OMR) firms, in order to reduce repurchase costs. However, in contrast to the OMRs of Gong, Louis, and Sun (2008), we do not find such earnings management for ASR firms. We conjecture that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and greater public attention to financial reporting after financial scandals reduce the likelihood that ASR firms adopt accrual-based earnings management.
- Accelerated share repurchases
- Earnings management
- Open market repurchases
- Sarbanes-Oxley act