Impact of segment-level natural resource operational risk reporting on earnings predictions

Shuwen Wendy Cai, Jayne M. Godfrey, Robyn Moroney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Non-financial reports alert investors to operational risks associated with issues such as insufficient access to natural resource inputs and related costly interruptions to production, while segment-level reports alert investors to operational risk distribution across a firm. An important issue, to date unexplored, is how segment-level non-financial reporting has an impact on earnings predictions. We report the results of an experiment used to examine how mining company segment-level water reports affect investors' earnings predictions, where water reports indicate whether the firm and its segments will have access to sufficient water to meet production needs. We find that investors do not change their earnings predictions when firm and segment-level reports indicate low water risk but they do revise down their earnings predictions when firm and segment-level water reports indicate high water risk. This is consistent with investors responding to the additional information provided in segment-level reports confirming that water risk is high across the firm. Regardless of whether firm-level water reports indicate high or low water risk, when segment-level reports indicate that one segment is low water risk and another is high water risk, investors revise down their earnings predictions. This is consistent with investors recognizing that natural resource operational risk concentration in one segment can affect earnings more than evenly-distributed risk. Overall, our findings suggest that belief-adjustment theory explains how investors react to prospective operational risk information contained in segment-level water reports according to the similarity of the segment-level risks, and that this information is factored into earnings predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-449
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Earnings predictions
  • Non-financial reports
  • Operational risk
  • Segment reporting
  • Water accounting
  • Water risk

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