On the informativeness of unexpected exclusions from street earnings

Brian Bratten, Stephannie Larocque, Teri Yohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exclusions from street earnings can include both expected exclusions, forecasted ex ante by analysts, and unexpected exclusions, revealed after earnings are reported. While prior research largely examines total exclusions from street earnings, unexpected exclusions reflect the news or surprise in exclusions. We investigate the properties and informativeness of unexpected exclusions for future profitability, benchmark beating, analyst forecast errors, and future stock returns. We find that unexpected exclusions represent a mix of transitory and recurring items and are informative about future street earnings. In an analysis of hand-collected analysts' reports, we find that unexpected exclusions are more likely to reflect misestimated recurring items when analysts forecasted exclusions, and unexpected transitory items when analysts did not forecast exclusions. We also examine benchmark-beating behavior, in which street earnings meet street forecasts but GAAP earnings miss GAAP forecasts. We observe that benchmark beating is more likely to occur when analysts forecast exclusions than when they do not. Moreover, we find unexpected exclusions are more persistent when street earnings meet street forecasts but GAAP earnings miss GAAP forecasts. These findings are consistent with recurring earnings amounts being opportunistically shifted to excluded items to meet analysts' street forecasts. Finally, we find some evidence that analysts and investors react to, but do not fully incorporate, the information in unexpected exclusions, based on forecast revisions and stock price reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-841
Number of pages33
JournalContemporary Accounting Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Canadian Academic Accounting Association.


  • analysts
  • benchmark beating
  • exclusions
  • forecasts
  • meet or beat
  • street versus GAAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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