SYNOPSIS

Prior research examines financial reporting of revenue in the context of how the incentives to achieve the earnings goal affect revenue reporting. In contrast, this study investigates how firms respond to sector-level incentives related to both revenue and earnings when evaluating the importance of revenue benchmarks. Results show that the importance of revenue benchmarks varies over time and across industry sectors. Regression analyses show that the sector-level incentives related to revenue and earnings affect revenue benchmark beating in opposite ways. Firms are more (less) likely to meet or just beat revenue benchmarks when the sector-level investor pricing of revenue (earnings) is high. Cross-sectional tests reveal that the association between revenue benchmark beating and the sector-level investor pricing of revenue (earnings) is stronger (weaker) among relatively young firms.

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