The information content in profit warnings and the implications for market rationality
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- Master of Science 
This paper investigates whether investors react rationally to the announcements of profit warnings in the Norwegian stock market by examining abnormal returns, information leakage and post-announcement drift. A classification of the warnings has been made to analyze whether the information content inherent in quantitative- and qualitative warnings has an effect on the market reaction. The sample includes 184 profit warnings from 2005 to 2012, where 144 of them are quantitative and 40 qualitative. The mean price reaction to the profit warnings on the announcement day was -5.25% and we report a mean CAR of -6.36% in the event window [-1, +1]. Contrary to many existing studies, this paper provides evidence of a greater market reaction to quantitative warnings than qualitative. This disparity decreases somewhat over time as qualitative warnings experience a significant one-day delayed market reaction of CAAR equal to -2.1%. Distinguishing between positive and negative disclosures reveals that bad news result in a greater market reaction than good news.