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Discretionary use of open briefings in the Australian continuous reporting environment

Dejsakultorn, Chalermlok (2012) Discretionary use of open briefings in the Australian continuous reporting environment. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listing rule 3.1 requires listed companies to immediately disclose price sensitive information to the market via the ASX’s Company Announcements Platform (CAP) prior to release through other disclosure channels. Since 1999, to improve the communication process, the ASX has permitted third-party mediation in the disclosure process that leads to the release of an Open Briefing (OB) through CAP. An OB is an interview between senior executives of the firm and an Open Briefing analyst employed by Orient Capital Pty Ltd (broaching topics such as current profit and outlook). Motivated by an absence of research on factors that influence firms to use OBs as a discretionary disclosure channel, this study examines (1) Why do firms choose to release information to the market via OBs?, (2) What are the firm characteristics that explain the discretionary use of OBs as a disclosure channel?, and (3) What are the disclosure attributes that influence firms’ decisions to regularly use OBs as a disclosure channel? Based on agency and information economics theories, a theoretical framework is developed to address research questions. This theoretical framework comprises disclosure environments such as firm characteristics and external factors, disclosure attributes and disclosure consequences. In order to address the first research question, the study investigates (i) the purpose of using OBs, (2) whether firms use OBs to provide information relating to previous public announcements, and (3) whether firms use OBs to provide routine or non-routine disclosures. In relation to the second and third research questions, hypotheses are developed to test factors expected to explain the discretionary use of OBs and firms’ decisions to regularly use OBs, and to explore the factors influencing the nature of OB disclosure. Content analysis and logistic regression models are used to investigate the research questions and test the hypotheses. Data are drawn from a hand-collected population of 1863 OB announcements issued by 239 listed firms between 2000 and 2010.

The results show that types of information disclosed via an OB announcement are principally on matters relating to corporate strategies and performance and outlook.

Most OB announcements are linked with a previous related announcement, with the lag between announcements significantly longer for loss-making firms than profitmaking firms. The main results show that firms which tend to be larger, have an analyst following, and have higher growth opportunities, are more likely to release OBs. Further, older firms and firms that release OB announcements containing good news, historical information and less complex information tend to be regular OB users. Lastly, firms more likely to disclose strategic information via OBs tend to operate in industries facing greater uncertainty, do not have analysts following, and have higher growth opportunities are less likely to disclose good news, historical information and complex information via OBs.

This study is expected to contribute to disclosure literature in terms of disclosure attributes and firm characteristics that influence behaviour in this unique (OB) disclosure channel. With regard to practical significance, regulators can gain an understanding of how OBs are disclosed which can assist them in monitoring the use of OBs and improving the effectiveness of communications with stakeholders. In addition, investors can have a better comprehension of information contained in OB announcements, which may in turn better facilitate their investment decisions.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 54623
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Gallery, Natalie
Keywords: Australian Securities Exchange, purpose of using OBs, ASX’s Company Announcements Platform, discretionary disclosure channel, information economics theories, Content analysis and logistic regression models, higher growth opportunities,
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2012 12:10
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2012 12:10

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