Risk Factor Disclosures: Do Managers and Markets Speak the Same Language?

Document Type


Publication Date



Prior research documents market responses to quarterly updates to annual risk factor disclosures, suggesting quarterly risk factor updates are informative. In this study, we explore whether future equity returns are associated with quarterly risk factor updates and whether updates containing more focused and specific language affect this relationship. We find that firms with quarterly risk factor updates experience lower future abnormal returns, relative to firms without updates, suggesting that, on average, the market reaction to quarterly risk factor updates is incomplete at the time the 10-Q is filed. This incomplete market reaction is driven primarily by the group of updates that is important yet is less specific about the effects of the risk on firm fundamentals. We also find that analysts underreact to the same group of risk factor updates associated with the market underreaction.