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Timeliness of financial reporting: applicability of disclosure theories in an emerging capital market

Leventis, S. and Weetman, P. (2004) Timeliness of financial reporting: applicability of disclosure theories in an emerging capital market. Accounting and Business Research, 34 (1). pp. 43-56. ISSN 0001-4788

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This study examines the timeliness with which financial statements are issued by companies in an emerging capital market (Greece). We find that, while all companies meet the regulatory deadline, there is a wide variation between the financial year end and the date of first issue of the financial statements. Significant factors identified by regression analysis are linked to disclosure theories of proprietary costs (using surrogate variables of barriers to entry and industry competition), information cost savings (using surrogate variables of trading volume and public issue) and relative good news or bad news (using surrogate variables of comment in the audit report, and annual change in return on equity). Our results support the predictions of Diamond (1985) and Verrecchia (1983, 1990).