The Effect of Cost Categories and the Origin of their stickiness on Earnings Forecast: A Comparative Study

Authors: Shirzad, A., Saei, M.J. and Yazdifar, H.

Journal: Iranian Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance

Publisher: University of Mashhad (Iran)


The main aim of this study is to separate the origins of “selling, general, and administrative costs (SG&A)” and “cost of goods sold (COGS)” stickiness, and investigate their sources effects on earnings forecast accuracy (EFA). In previous research, various micro and macro factors have been shown to affect asymmetric cost behavior. These factors are rooted in the industry and firm-specific characteristics or specific events, which may occur each year at national or international scales. In this study, in the first step, a new methodology is presented to separate the sources of cost stickiness, including a novel method for calculating cost stickiness for each firm-year. In the second step, we investigated the effect of each firm-year stickiness and each source of stickiness on the EFA. The statistical population of the study consisted of all companies listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange, from which 1080 observations in 2014-2018 period were selected and reviewed. Our results indicated that EFA has a negative and significant relationship with SG&A and COGS stickiness, stickiness of each year and each company, but no significant relationship was found with stickiness of each industry. Our results demonstrated that the stickiness of SG&A to COGS has a greater effect on the EFA. The findings suggest that the events of each year and the intra-organizational events of each company have a greater impact on cost behavior. Hence, it is necessary for managers and financial analysts to take into account each source of cost stickiness, especially year-specific events and firm-specific characteristics, and consider their effects in earnings forecast to improve their EFA.

Source: Manual