We test whether geographical location, audit quality, and equity offering play a role in the earnings quality of reverse merger (RM) firms. We provide evidence that, contrary to the popular focus on foreign reverse mergers by the business press, earnings management is equally likely in both U.S. and foreign RM companies. We find that firm characteristics are more indicative of the likelihood to manage earnings than geographical location. The presence of a Big 4 auditor for RM firms is associated with higher earnings quality and a survival rate almost twice as high in comparison to RM firms audited by a non-Big 4 auditor. Moreover, we find that while earnings management is a common practice at all RM firms, it is especially pervasive for RM firms that are issuing new equity after the reverse merger.

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