This study presents the results of an experiment that examines how two underlying characteristics of pro forma earnings announcements, pro forma emphasis and the presence of a quantitative reconciliation, influence nonprofessional investors' and analysts' reliance on pro forma disclosures. The results indicate that the emphasis management places on pro forma earnings, not the mere presence of pro forma earnings, influences nonprofessional investors' judgments and decisions, but that this influence is mitigated by the presence of a quantitative reconciliation. Further analysis reveals that the influence of pro forma emphasis on nonprofessional investors' judgments and decisions seems to be the result of an unintentional cognitive effect as opposed to the perceived informativeness of the earnings figure emphasized by management. Analysts' judgments and decisions were also affected by the presence of reconciliation, but in the opposite direction to those of nonprofessional investors. Specifically, the presence of a quantitative reconciliation led analysts to view pro forma earnings as more reliable, increasing their reliance on the pro forma disclosure in judging the earnings performance of the firm.

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