Drake, Michael S. (2010-07). Short-sellers and Analysts as Providers of Complementary Information about Future Firm Performance. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This study examines whether short-sellers and financial analysts develop complementary information about future earnings and returns and assesses whether investors can improve predictions made by each of these intermediaries using information provided by the other. The first main result is that the relative short interest ratio (shares sold short divided by total shares outstanding) contains information that is useful for predicting future earnings, beyond (i.e., incremental to) the information in analyst forecasts. I also find that analysts do not fully incorporate short interest information into their forecasts and demonstrate that analyst forecasts can be improved (i.e., can be made to be less biased and more accurate) by adjusting for short interest information. The second main result is that analyst forecast revisions contain information that is useful for predicting future abnormal returns, beyond the information in the relative short interest ratio. I demonstrate that portfolios of stocks formed based on consistent signals from short-sellers and analysts produce abnormal return spreads that are significantly larger than spreads produced by portfolios formed using signals from short-sellers alone. Collectively, the evidence suggests that short-sellers and analyst provide complementary information about future firm performance that is useful to investors.

publication date

  • May 2009