ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT This study provides insights into the forces and constraints that shape analyst research coverage along country and sector dimensions and the impact of the structure of an analyst's portfolio on forecast accuracy. We find that analyst specialization by country and sector is sensitive to the extent to which firms "within" a country or sector and firms "across" country-sectors are exposed to common economic forces, the potential for revenue generation, and broker culture. Our tests indicate that existing research on the relation between analyst portfolio structure and forecast accuracy may suffer from an endogeneity bias. We use our analysis of analyst specialization to develop controls for this bias. Once we employ these controls, we find that country diversification is associated with superior forecast accuracy. However, the relation between sector diversification and forecast accuracy is context-specific. Specifically, sector diversification enhances forecast accuracy in an international context, while it detracts from forecast accuracy in a domestic U.S. context. Copyright (c), University of Chicago on behalf of the Accounting Research Center, 2009.
Journal of Accounting Research. 01/2009; 47(4):867-909.