Less-informed investors face greater costs of processing earnings news into actionable information. Our findings suggest financial analysis on social media reduces less-informed investors’ disclosure processing costs. We document an attenuated spike in earnings announcement (EA) information asymmetry for quarters containing more financial analysis on social media in the weeks prior to the EA. Cross-sectional evidence suggests this finding is stronger when coverage from traditional intermediaries is lower, for financial analyses written by more credible authors, and for financial analyses that are more likely relevant to evaluating the EA. Further evidence suggests retail trades, but not institutional trades, at EAs are significantly more profitable in quarters with greater financial analysis on social media, consistent with financial analysis on social media benefitting traders who are otherwise less-informed. Overall, our evidence suggests that financial analysis on social media plays an important role in aiding less-informed investors by helping them better process EA news.

JEL Classifications: G14; M41.

This content is only available via PDF.