Jenny Zha Giedt
Assistant Professor of Accounting
George Washington University
School of Business
Washington, DC


Research interests:
  • Potential changes in corporate control; the preliminary sale process in mergers & acquisitions
  • Financial accounting and reporting choices

[6] "Why Are Firms Sold? Target Motives and Bidders' Selection of Targets" (2017), Washington Area Research Symposium paper 2017 and AAA Annual Meeting paper 2017. Link
Motivation: Prior papers explain why certain firms become targets of mergers and acquisitions by comparing ex-post target firms to non-target firms. However, due to the samples used, those papers cannot disentangle target motives from the traits of targets that bidders demand. This study uses an intermediate sample of firms that are evaluating strategic alternatives to explain and distinguish (1) why certain firms self-select to become potential takeover targets and (2) why acquirers make offers to certain target firms. Furthermore, this study compares firms that voluntarily disclose their review of strategic alternatives with firms that experience a media leak, to uncover differences in the firms whose information is disseminated via these alternative information channels.
[5] "Economic Consequences of Announcing Strategic Alternatives" (2017), SSRN working paper which is based on my job market paper. Link
Motivation: Little is known about the consequences of publicly revealing that a company is exploring strategic alternatives, yet managers and directors face this disruptive disclosure decision when their company is seeking to sell itself in the M&A market. At first glance, the average announcement return of 6% suggests that this voluntary disclosure increases shareholder value. However, the eventual success or failure of the firm's attempt to sell itself allows me to identify a tradeoff of the disclosure's costs and benefits: a valuation premium is only captured if a sale is consumated. Otherwise, if a firm announces that it's seeking strategic alternatives but ultimately fails to sell itself, the announcement premium gradually reverses and the long run abnormal returns are actually negative. Further tests examine the some mechanisms how the announcement may benefit or hurt firm value: the announcement leads to raised investor attention, greater number of bidders in the sale process, worse operating performance, and departing employees.
[4] "Defining, Measuring and Modeling Accruals: A Guide for Researchers" (2017) with Chad Larson and Richard Sloan, RAST Conference paper 2017. Link
Motivation: Measures of accruals and models of discretionary accruals are widely used in financial accounting research. Yet, empirical researchers are faced with many measures and models to choose from, where some of the commonly choosen ones are incomplete and fragmented. To guide researchers, this paper provides a comprehensive definition and meaure of accruals, and shows how some existing measures of accruals fit in as a component of comprehensive accruals. For resesarchers interested in modeling non-disccretionary accruals, this paper provides a more comprehensive model specification that takes into account the normal properties of accruals. Overall, we urge researchers to carefully consider which measure of accruals to use and how to model normal variation in accruals.
[3] "Modeling Receivables and Deferred Revenues to Detect Revenue Management" (forthcoming), AbacusSpecial Issue on Earnings ManagementLink
Motivation: Researchers and regulators interested in detecting managerial discretion in revenue recognition may examine specific revenue-related accruals. This paper proposes a method that exhibits greater power and less misspecification than alternative methods. The intuition behind the model is as follows. The booking of accounts receivable is related to contemporaneous revenue, and the reversal of accounts receivable is related to future cash collections from customers. Furthermore, the booking of deferred revenue is related to contemporaneous cash collections from customers, and the reversal of deferred revenue is related to future recognized revenue. As a result, the proposed model essentially combines the relative strengths of Caylor's (2010) and Stubben's (2010) discretionary revenue models and adds the innovation of using cash collections from customers (called 'cash flow from sales' in the paper) as an explanatory variable.
ΔAccounts receivablet = α0 + α1*1/Avg assetst + α2*ΔRevenueQ123t + α3*ΔRevenueQ4t + α4*ΔCash flow from salest+1 + et
ΔDeferred revenuet = α0 + α1*1/Avg assetst + α2*ΔCash flow from salest + α3*ΔRevenuet+1 + et 
[2] "On the Pricing of Mandatory DCF Disclosures: Evidence from Oil and Gas Royalty Trusts" (2015) with Panos Patatoukas and Richard Sloan, The Accounting ReviewLink
Motivation: In the value-relevance literature, tests of the relation between an asset's value on the financial statments and the asset's market value are typically plagued by measurement issues, from imputing the asset's market value, and model misspecification issues, from imperfectly controlling for the company's other assets and liabilities. Oil and gas royalty trusts, however, provide a cleaner setting to conduct a value-relevance test because the primary assets of these trusts are mature oil and gas reserves, their other assets and liabilities are negligible, and the asset's estimated value is clearly disclosed in 10-Ks. We find that managerial DCF estimates of oil and gas reserves are priced by investors, yet investors may buoyantly overlook the finite nature of these reserves until media coverage prompts the stock price to coverge with the DCF estimate.
[1] "Stock Prices and Earnings: A History of Research" (2014) with Patricia Dechow and Richard Sloan, Annual Review of Financial EconomicsLink
Motivation: The financial accounting and capital markets literature is storied and vast. This paper summarizes the main properties of earnings and its components, and how they are useful to investors and relate to stock prices. Select empirical findings in this area are extended to the present period, including price and volume reactions to accounting information, the value-relevance of various earnings measures, and portfolio returns to accounting-based trading strategies.

About Me
Jenny is an Assistant Professor at the George Washington University School of Business. Her research examines financial accounting and disclosure choices made by corporations and their effects on the stock market and market for corporate control.
Jenny graduated with a PhD in Business Administration (Accounting emphasis) in 2016 from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and is a Deloitte Foundation doctoral fellow. Her UC Berkeley dissertation explores why certain companies voluntarily announce that they are seeking strategic alternatives, and documents the costs and benefits associated with the announcement. Her dissertation is titled, "Voluntary Disclosure of Strategic Alternatives: A Cost-Benefit Analysis" (2016). Link
Prior to Berkeley, she worked as an auditor and forensic accountant at KPMG in Los Angeles, CA, and obtained her CPA. She also has experience in the mutual fund and hedge fund industries with US Bank and Dorchester Capital. She earned her Bachelor's degrees from the University of Southern California in Accounting and Business Administration (Finance emphasis).
In her spare time, Jenny enjoys snorkeling, ice skating, skiing, and yoga.