Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The purpose of this study is to determine which of these alternative annual report disclosures of oil and gas reserves, namely historic capitalized costs, quantities and discounted cash flows, contributes the most information content. Information content is defined as the ability of a reserves disclosure to account for relative changes in common stock prices.;It has been proposed by the "events" approach to accounting theory that a role of the annual financial report is to report on the economic events of the accounting period that influenced the expected stream of future cash flows of a corporation. As a corporation's common stock prices are considered to be a rational measure of the present value of investors' expected stream of future cash flows from investing in the stock, then common stock returns can be viewed as a proxy for the change in a corporation's perceived value. To the extent that the annual report effectively reports the economic events which account for changes in a corporation's common stock prices, the disclosed data should exhibit an association with common stock returns.;Multiple correlation/regression analysis was used to evaluate the extent that each of the three alternative reserves disclosures account for common stock returns after first recognizing the information provided by an industry variable and by an earnings per share or cash flow per share variable. The annual reports of 67 Canadian oil and gas exploration and development corporations were used to gather the data for each of the years 1982, 1983 and 1984.;The results indicated that the earnings per share provides significant information content while the cash flow per share consistently provides no significant evidence of information content. The capitalized costs reserves disclosure did not provide consistent evidence of information content, while the quantities disclosure and the discounted cash flows disclosure do provide significant incremental information content.;The study concludes that the alternative reserves disclosures of quantities and discounted cash flows are more informative to users when accounting for changes in a corporation's common stock prices than the disclosure of reserves in historic capitalized costs.



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