Review of Accounting Studies

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 175-208

First online:

Are Accruals during Initial Public Offerings Opportunistic?

  • Siew Hong TeohAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan Business School
  • , T. J. WongAffiliated withHong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • , Gita R. RaoAffiliated withColonial Management Associates

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We find evidence that initial public offering (IPO) firms, on average, have high positive issue-year earnings and abnormal accruals, followed by poor long-run earnings and negative abnormal accruals. The IPO-year abnormal, and not expected, accruals explain the cross-sectional variation in post-issue earnings and stock returns. The results are robust with respect to alternative abnormal accruals and earnings performance measures. IPO firms adopt more income-increasing depreciation policies when they deviate from similar prior performance same industry non-issuers, and they provide significantly less for uncollectible accounts receivable than their matched non-issuers. The results taken together suggest opportunistic earnings management partially explains the new issues anomaly.