The Association between Accounting Earnings, Dividends, Stock Prices and Stock Returns: Value Relevance of Accounting Standards in the Tunisian Stock Market

Ahmed Bouteska, Boutheina Regaieg


This present study aims to examine the relationship between accounting earnings, dividends, stock prices and stock returns for companies listed at the Tunisian stock exchange. Using panel data obtained from the annual reports and financial statements of 57 Tunisian companies over the period 2005-2015, we show the existence of an earning-dividend-return significant positive relation by applying four models developed from Easton and Harris (1991), Frino and Tibbits (1992) and Kothari and Zimmerman (1995).. The empirical results indicate a significant value relevance of accounting earnings and dividends reported by Tunisian companies under the standards generally accepted in Tunisia. Particularly, it appears from our main findings in regressions the relative explanatory power of above variables on stock market returns which clarifies the important proportions of variations of stock returns in Tunisia. The findings from the study also reveal that shareholders pay a special attention to the impact of dividend and dividend yield on stock returns. Moreover, investors should consider informative earnings numbers as investment criteria as well as many other factors for example interest rates and industry performance affecting stock returns when it comes to make investment decisions. Based on these results and due to the importance of accounting earnings in investment decisions we recommend that there is need for investors to carefully use financial advisory information that financial analysts provide to them in order to determine what the correct and comparable earnings per share (EPS) or dividend per share (DPS) of each company.

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