Financial Reporting Quality and Shareholders’ Wealth Maximization: Evidence from listed Companies in Nigeria (Published)
A primary objective of shareholders’ equity investment is the expected returns. The level of returns depends largely on the operational and managerial competences and effectiveness of the managers as reflected in reported financial statements. However, the quality of financial reporting in some cases appears to be questionable. Consequent to this, this study investigated the effect of financial reporting quality on shareholders’ wealth maximization. The study population consisted of 173 listed companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, from which a sample of 10 companies were purposively selected based on the availability of complete and relevant data for a period of 10 years (2008-2017). Data were extracted from the published financial statements of the companies selected, while descriptive and panel data regression analyses were employed. The validity and reliability of the data were anchored on external auditors’ certification of the financial statements in line with statutory requirements. The study found that Shareholders’ wealth maximization was positively affected by the financial reporting quality (AdjR2 = 0.170; F(2, 98) = 41.96; p = 0.000). The individual effects of Earnings persistence (EPES) and Earnings smoothness (ESM) on Shareholder’s wealth maximization (SHWM) were negative and statistically insignificant (β = -0.044; t(100) = -0.483 ; p = 0.629; and β = -0.038; t(100) = -0.460; p = 0.645) respectively. The study recommended that managers should exercise high level of competence and effectiveness in managing the shareholder’s equity to ensure robust returns since this is key in attracting equity investments.