Do Analysts and Their Employers Value Access to Management? Evidence from Earnings Conference Call Participation

Ling Cen, Jing Chen, Sudipto Dasgupta, and Vanitha Ragunathan

The literature examining analyst activity assumes that access to management is valued by analysts and their employers. We propose a readily observable measure of access: how often an analyst is invited to be among the first to ask questions in the Q&A session of an earnings conference call. These “early participants” are more successful in the labor market than peers from the same brokerage when their brokerages close. Our results show that access is valued by both sell-side and buy-side employers and reflects connectivity to management as well as dimensions of analyst skill not captured in traditional measures of performance.