Omar Farooq1* and Meryem Benali2
This paper examines the pattern of earnings management around the initial public offering (IPO) year in Morocco during the period between 2001 and 2007. Our results show that earnings management reaches its maximum level during the year of an IPO followed by earnings management during the pre-IPO years and the post-IPO years. We argue that the need for achieving the reputation as a profitable firm induces management to managing earnings during the pre-IPO years. This need to manage earnings is more emphatic during the year of an IPO because announcing earnings that are lesser than the previous years would hurt the reputation of a firm in the eyes of potential investors/shareholder and would reduce the offering proceeds. However, as firm enter the post-IPO years, lower requirements of raising capital in immediate future along with greater scrutiny from stock market participant’s result in lower incentives to manage earnings.
Key words: Earnings management, initial public offering, corporate governance, information disclosure, emerging markets.