We estimate the association of investments in R&D and in physical assets (CAPEX) with subsequent earnings variability. We estimate these relations in different time periods and across industries. We find that R&D contributes to subsequent earnings variability more than CAPEX only in relative R&D-intensive industries - industries in which R&D is relatively more intensive than physical capital. In physical assets-intensive industries, we do not find similar relations. The findings suggest that with respect to subsequent earnings variability, fundamental differences between investment information about R&D and CAPEX exist. However, they are mainly noticeable in firms that operate in relatively R&D-intensive industries. The evidence also suggests there was a shift in the relations between R&D and CAPEX over time. Our findings contribute to the debate on accounting for R&D expenditures.
- Capital expenditures (CAPEX)
- Earnings variability
- Industry analysis
- Research and development (R&D)
- SFAS 2