Review of Recent Research on Improving Earnings Forecasts and Evaluating Accounting-Based Estimates of the Expected Rate of Return on Equity Capital Abacus (forthcoming)
We extend Easton’s (2007) review of the literature on accounting-based estimates of the expected rate of return on equity capital, which we refer to as the ERR. We begin by reiterating the reasons why accounting-based estimates are used. Next, we briefly review the recent literature that focuses on improving forecasts of expected earnings by either: (1) removing predictable errors from analysts’ forecasts of earnings or (2) developing cross-sectional regression-based estimates of earnings using prior-period financial data. In the remainder of our review we discuss a recent debate on methods for evaluating estimates of the ERR. We highlight the key points in the debate so that the reader will find it easier to form an independent view of the relative merits of the proposed methods.