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Cockroach Theory

Cockroach Theory

What Is the Cockroach Theory?

The cockroach theory alludes to a market theory that states when a company uncovers terrible news to the public, a lot more related, negative events might be revealed from now on. Terrible news might come as a earnings miss, a claim, or another surprising, negative event. The term cockroach theory comes from the common conviction that seeing one cockroach is normally evidence there are some more.

Figuring out the Cockroach Theory

The cockroach theory is a nonscientific theory that is predicated on the possibility that a company's fortunes are dependent on both outside and inside powers, and may not just be impacted by one piece of terrible news. Put essentially, when you see one cockroach, there might be a lot more you can't see right away. All things considered, one cockroach for the most part means there are really lying around in the dark. So when a company is negatively impacted by outer powers, it is improbable that its industry peers are insusceptible to those equivalent powers. Subsequently, when one company's hardships are revealed to the public, almost certainly, comparable setbacks will occur for other also impacted companies.

Earnings surprises or misses are indicators of industry trends, especially assuming they happen for more than one company in an industry. On the off chance that one isolated company in a sector shows an earnings surprise, it very well may be overlooked. Nonetheless, assuming that more than one company reports an earning surprise or miss, it very well may be a strong indicator that different companies in the industry will have comparative earnings results.

Effects of the Cockroach Theory

Awful news is unavoidable and inevitable โ€” paying little mind to company or industry. Yet, much of the time, a company's upper management team might try to downplay the effects of any terrible news. As a matter of fact, a try to turn it around by putting a positive twist on the news even on the off chance that there's an impact on the company's share price. For certain companies, it could be an oddball, however that may not really be the case for other people. Shrewd investors might have the option to see through these public relations strategies and comprehend that a sudden disclosure of terrible news might lead to something greater later on โ€” for the company and, surprisingly, the industry as a whole.

The cockroach theory can destructively affect the market. Investors frequently reexamine their holdings in different companies in a similar industry when they're confronted with terrible news concerning at least one companies in an industry. Now and again, the news is adequately negative to persuade investors to dump industry stock, which can make prices across a whole sector tumble. In addition, insight about indecency at one company might bring about panic and public outcry, which normally winds up provoking the curiosity of government regulators, who will investigate industry contenders.

A scandal including one company might provoke the curiosity of government regulators, who will investigate others in the industry.

Instances of the Cockroach Theory

The cockroach theory has been utilized to portray several key events in the financial world, specifically the accounting scandals that were found after Enron, as well as the financial crisis that came about because of the subprime mortgage meltdown.

In October 2001, reports arose that energy company Enron, which was maintained as a model of progress for U.S. corporations, participated in tricky accounting works on, misleading investors and the public for a really long time about the company's financial wellbeing. By August 2002, Enron was in bankruptcy, and the accounting firm responsible for its audits, Arthur Andersen, gave up its CPA license. The Enron scandal implied that unlawful accounting practices might be more boundless than initially accepted, and made regulators and the investing public aware of likely financial wrongdoing. Over the course of the next 18 months, comparable accounting scandals brought down a large group of different companies including WorldCom, Tyco, and Adelphia.

In February 2007, subprime lender New Century Financial Corporation confronted liquidity worries as losses emerging from terrible loans to defaulting subprime borrowers began to arise. This company was the first of numerous other subprime lenders that dealt with financial issues adding to the subprime mortgage meltdown. As such, the financial issues of one subprime lender โ€” one cockroach โ€” were a sign that numerous other comparative organizations were similarly situated.


  • Since investors might reevaluate different holdings in a similar industry in light of terrible news, the cockroach theory will in general adversely affect the market as a whole.
  • The cockroach theory states that when a company uncovers terrible news, a lot more related, negative events might be revealed from here on out.
  • Cockroach theory was named from the common conviction that seeing one cockroach is evidence there are something else.
  • Cockroach theory might be utilized to depict circumstances influencing the two companies and whole industries.