The practice of reporting earnings measures that deviate from generally accepted accounting principles (non-GAAP measures) has received negative attention in the media. In a period of increased regulatory concern for these reporting practices, we explore whether there has been a shift away from the use of non-GAAP metrics. This study focuses on the Dutch situation, where regulators responded conservatively (‘light’) to the accounting scandals. This contrasts with the U.S., where regulators intervened with a radical (‘heavy’) reform of regulation. We analyse a sample of earnings press releases published in the period 2000–05 from companies listed at Euronext Amsterdam. Our findings indicate that Dutch companies report non-GAAP measures frequently and prominently. However, companies' reporting behaviour changes after a peak in negative media attention for non-GAAP reporting. The magnitude of the adjustments to GAAP earnings becomes smaller and companies seem to have different reasons to report non-GAAP measures. The effect of the media attention is stronger when companies have been criticized for their non-GAAP reporting in the press. Investors seem to have become more hesitant towards the use of non-GAAP measures for their decision-making after negative media attention. Together, these findings suggest that the negative media attention for non-GAAP measures has influenced the decisions of investors and managers

Additional Metadata
Keywords Non-GAAP earnings, event study, information content, regulation, value relevance
JEL Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Accounting (jel M41)
Persistent URL,
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Abacus: a journal of accounting, finance and business studies
Koning, M, Roosenboom, P.G.J, & Mertens, G.M.H. (2010). The Impact of Media Attention on the Use of Alternative Earnings Measures. Abacus: a journal of accounting, finance and business studies, 46(3), 258–288. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6281.2010.00319.x