The Relative and Incremental Information Content of Cash Flows and Accruals: An Empirical Study on Oslo Stock Exchange
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- Master of Science 
This study examines the relative and incremental information content of accruals and cash flows based on Norwegian data. The motivation for the study is the lack of conclusive evidence on the topic and that no information content study has been conducted in a Norwegian context. We estimate the association between cumulative abnormal returns and unexpected components of net income, working capital from operations, cash flow from operations, cash flow after investments, and net cash flow. Based on annual cross-sectional and pooled regressions from 2007 to 2018, we find that the aggregate effect of cash flows has the highest information content for companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Further, we find evidence suggesting that both accruals – in particular earnings – and cash flows have incremental information content. We observe the following ranking of the performance measures: 1) cash flow from operations, 2) net income, 3) net cash flow, 4) cash flow after investments, and 5) working capital from operations. Unlike previous studies on the topic, we introduce control variables that are distinct for the market. In this study, we control for industry, in particular oil companies, and government ownership. We find some evidence suggesting that earnings are relatively more important for government-owned firms.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Major in Accounting and Business Control - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2020