Firms often issue disaggregated earnings forecasts, and prior research reveals benefits to doing so. However, we hypothesize and experimentally find that the benefits of disaggregated forecasts do not necessarily carry over to the time of actual earnings announcements. Rather, disaggregated forecasts create multiple points of possible comparison between the forecast and the subsequent earnings announcement. Thus, when firms disaggregate forecasts and subsequently release disaggregated actual earnings numbers, investors reward firms that beat those multiple benchmarks, but punish firms that miss those multiple benchmarks. Thus, we show that issuing a disaggregated earnings forecast to achieve the associated benefits can backfire after the announcement of actual earnings. Our results have implications for researchers and firm managers.
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