ABSTRACT

Prior research has examined how companies exploit Twitter in communicating with investors, and whether Twitter activity predicts the stock market as a whole. We test whether opinions of individuals tweeted just prior to a firm's earnings announcement predict its earnings and announcement returns. Using a broad sample from 2009 to 2012, we find that the aggregate opinion from individual tweets successfully predicts a firm's forthcoming quarterly earnings and announcement returns. These results hold for tweets that convey original information, as well as tweets that disseminate existing information, and are stronger for tweets providing information directly related to firm fundamentals and stock trading. Importantly, our results hold even after controlling for concurrent information or opinion from traditional media sources, and are stronger for firms in weaker information environments. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the aggregate opinion from individual tweets when assessing a stock's future prospects and value.

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