Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Conrad Ciccotello

Second Advisor

Dr. Wesley Johnston

Third Advisor

Dr. Craig Ruff

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study investigates the usefulness of spin-off historical and pro forma financial statements on the market’s ability to predict the firm’s future earnings. This study evaluates the spin-off historical and pro forma financial statements required for a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation (Form 10-12(b). The study evaluates the question Are spin-off financial statements that reflect the firm’s adoption of the accounting required for the regulation (SEC form 10-12(b)) predictive of future earnings and thus useful? According to Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 8 (SFAC8), the objective of general purpose financial reporting is that financial statements are useful to investors in making decisions about providing resources to the firm. Financial information is capable of making a difference in decisions if they have predictive value, confirmatory value or both. This is a quantitative, positivist, empirical archival study of final SEC Forms 10-12(b) for spin-off firms filed for listing on a public exchange of either NYSE or NASDAQ from the period of 2000 to 2014. The study evaluates if spin-off financial statements (historical and pro forma) are predictive, confirmatory or both. This study compares the performance of these companies to their peer group to assess if the results of this population are significantly different from the performance of the peer group in predicting future earnings. There were large variances between the historical, pro forma and Year 1 key financial statement elements. Variances ranged between 4% to over 500%. The difference in means in the population were significant between historical and pro forma net income as well as the change in shareholders equity and between historical and Year 1 shareholders’ equity. There was a significant difference in the leverage metric between historical leverage ratio and Year 1’s leverage ratio of the firms. The study found that the peer financial metrics were predictive of future earnings but the historical spin statements are not as predictive as their peer group. There was a significant difference in the predictability between the peer group and the historical spin metrics. The research supports the usefulness of the pro forma information. The research does not appear to support the usefulness of the historical information. Thus, the study provides the first empirical evidence that spin-off financial statements provide less information to the market. This is a new approach to study the application of accounting standards.

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