Jessica Watkins

Assistant Professor, Accountancy


384 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-1752

Assistant Professor, Accountancy

  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Disclosure
  • Market Efficiency

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Burying bad 8-K news raises red flags

Many companies seek to effectively paper over bad news contained in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission by publishing unrelated press releases on the same day, according to a release on a new multi-year study from Jessica Watkins, an assistant professor of accountancy at the University of Notre Dame, Caleb Rawson, an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Arkansas and Brady Twedt, a University of Oregon accounting professor.

Report: Companies Using Press Releases & SEC Filing Misdirection to Hide Bad News

“Consistent with our prediction, we find that managers disclosing negative news via SEC Form 8-K are more likely to issue a concurrent press release about an unrelated event when compared to managers disclosing positive or neutral news,” said Jessica Watkins, assistant professor of accountancy in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. 


Companies distract from bad news with unrelated news

The study, from the University of Notre Dame, examined close to 50,000 non-earnings-related 8-K filings between 2005 and 2018, where the firm also issued a news release on the same day.