Graduation Year

2015

Date of Submission

4-2015

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Second Department

Economics-Accounting

Reader 1

George Batta

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2015 Joshua A. Thomas

Abstract

Using historical firm financial and insider trading information, this paper examines whether high-level insiders manipulate earnings ahead of their own 10b5-1 equity transactions. The empirical evidence suggests that high-level executives appear to manipulate earnings through real activities such as abnormal discretionary expenditures and abnormal cash flows from operations to influence equity prices ahead of their own transactions under Rule 10b5-1. Evidence also suggests that executives appear to be unlikely to engage in earnings management through highly scrutinized means such as accruals. An interpretation of these results is that high-level executives may be using 10b5-1 plans as an offensive tool to trade with the knowledge of inside information, which appears to be in direct opposition to the defensive mechanism that 10b5-1 plans are intended to represent.

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