Is there any effect of going concern audit opinion public announcements on the stock price behavior in a short term period? : Empirical evidence from Australia
The research paper explores the value of information content incorporated in the first-time going concern opinion from the perspective of investors. The signaling effects of the auditors’ opinion with going concern remark issued to financially distressed companies are of a great value in case the auditor statements deliver new information content which has not been incorporated in the previously disclosed financial information. Otherwise a going concern audit opinion remains not relevant for the purpose of investors’ decision making. If the going concern audit opinion adds new information content, we gain an ability to detect a stock market reaction to the relevant public announcement.
The paper examines the Australian stock market reaction to public announcements of going concern audit opinion in a short term period for the sample of the 29 first-time going concern listed companies during the 2007 to 2009 years observation period. High sample criteria are determined in order to avoid contamination effects of other price sensitive information. The impact of both the preliminary financial report and the final annual report is examined by means of the parametric and non-parametric tests aligned with the event study methodology.
Consistent with previous studies in Australia, no significant financial market reaction to the final going concern audit opinion announcements inherent to the Australian environment has been found. We document that the more negative impact on the market reaction is caused by the preliminary financial report rather than the final report, which contains an audit opinion note. Correspondently, the audit opinions with going concern qualification do not add new information content for the Australian stock market participants, who base their expectations on the previously disclosed financial information.
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