This paper investigates the relationship between individuals' net trading and stock price movements before and after annual earnings announcements for the Taiwan Stock Exchange. We conduct an event study on the effects of pre-event individual trade imbalances on pre- and post-announcement abnormal returns. With a unique and comprehensive dataset, we accurately classify executed orders by aggressiveness of order price. The evidence indicates that while individuals, as a group, are not informed about impending earnings announcements, individuals who place aggressive orders are informed as their net trading coincides with contemporaneous and future stock returns. Aggressive individuals lose their edge during the financial crisis. More importantly, the advantage (disadvantage) for individuals who adopt aggressive (passive) orders weakens when foreign institutions own concentrated equity in firms. We also find that net individual trading contains information about abnormal returns that either past returns or volume does not subsume. Controlling for past returns, trading volume and volatility, or using an alternative measure of net individual trading does not change our conclusions.
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