Title: How markets react to earnings announcements in the absence of analysts and institutions: evidence from the Saudi market

Authors: Ahmed Alzahrani, Len Skerratt

Addresses: Finance Department, Institute of Public Administration, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ' Economics and Finance Department, Brunel University, UB8 3PH, UK

Abstract: How stock markets react to news is an established area of research. We examine the behaviour of the Saudi Stock Market (SSM) in response to quarterly earnings announcements where there are no analysts| forecasts, with the aim of examining the efficiency of the market. The SSM seems to underreact to positive news for the first five days and then reactions tend to strengthen in the following weeks, indicating the presence of a Post-Earnings Announcement Drift (PEAD). At the same time, the SSM overreacts to negative news in the first five days and then reverses its direction and reports an upward PEAD. The individually dominated market combined with the absence of analysts| forecasts is the main explanation for this underreaction to positive news and overreaction to negative news.

Keywords: PEAD; post-earnings announcement drift; market efficiency; analyst forecasts; SSM; Saudi stock market; over-reaction; under-reaction; Saudi Arabia; stock markets; quarterly earnings announcements; positive news; negative news.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMEF.2010.035596

International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance, 2010 Vol.3 No.4, pp.338 - 358

Published online: 01 Oct 2010 *

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