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Narrative R&D Disclosure and the R&D Anomaly

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Title:Narrative R&D Disclosure and the R&D Anomaly
Authors:Bok Baik
David Farber
Sunghyo Kim
Textual analysis
Narrative disclosure
Date Issued:30 Aug 2019
Abstract:Prior research documents that investors underreact to R&D expense because they have difficulty valuing innovation (Chan et al 2001; Eberhart et al. 2004; Cohen et al. 2013). This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the R&D anomaly. We extend prior research by examining how narrative R&D disclosure in 10-K filings impacts market participants’ understanding of the value of innovation. We first show that narrative R&D disclosure is positively related with future R&D outcome. Despite such value-relevance, we find that R&D anomaly is magnified in intense narrative R&D disclosure firms, as reflected in larger future returns associated with current R&D expense. We further find that the impact of R&D disclosure on the R&D anomaly is more pronounced when the number of investors’ 10-K views is low and when 10-K reports are less readable. Overall, our findings suggest that narrative R&D disclosure does not necessarily help investors’ ability to impound information about R&D into stock prices on a timely basis. Our study has implications for regulators in that users of financial statements have difficulty processing on a timely basis the information contained not only in R&D, but also in R&D narrative disclosure.
Appears in Collections: 09 Financial: Fair Value Accounting/Intangible Assets/Innovations

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