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Accounting and Finance Department Research Seminar

When: Friday, March 24, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Where: Online
Description: The Accounting and Finance Department announces the following research seminar.

Speaker: Assistant Professor. Mi Zhou (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Title: Do Images Provide Relevant Information to Investors? An Exploratory Study
Date: Friday, March 24, 2023
Time: 10:00-11:15 AM
Location: via Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 438 755 1509
Passcode: Contact Prof. Xu below.
Abstract: We introduce the concept of "visual-readability" in annual reports and use novel machine learning algorithms to construct visual-readability metrics. We innovate by creating a novel measure of content reinforcement, representing the information content investors can extract from images, complementing and reinforcing particulars contained in the textual narrative. An increase in visual prevalence and in the degree to which images convey reinforcing information is associated with greater (lower) analyst forecast accuracy (disagreement) in subsequent quarters. Effects of visual readability are distinct from those of textual readability. Using Kelly and Ljungqvist (2012)'s identification, we find that firms increase the use of visuals when facing an exogenous drop in analyst coverage. Our metrics are further associated with lower risk, lower cost-of-equity, and higher credit ratings during the subsequent year. In the age of information overflow, our results highlight the importance of visual readability for information assimilation.

For additional information, please contact Prof. Hongkang Xu at
Contact: > See Description for contact information
Topical Areas: Faculty, Students, Academic Affairs, Accounting and Finance, _Charlton College of Business