Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Economics, Finance, and International Business Department

Faculty Advisor

Weixiao Wu


Sentiments of Earnings Conference Call, Import Competition, Textual Analysis, US-China Trade War


Based on our analysis of the transcripts of both the CEO speeches and Q&A sessions from the U.S. S&P 500 and S&P 600 corporations between 2012 and 2020, we have found a substantial correlation between the sentiment expressed in these speeches and the import penetration faced by the firm. We identify 4 main findings: firstly, facing accelerated import competition from China, US firms have expressed more negative sentiments toward topics related to China. Such a deterioration in tone becomes more significant during the Q&A session. Second, large companies, that have closer business relationships with China, have shown larger shifts in attitude toward import competition from China. Third, the sentiment of CEOs turns to be more negative, as they take on more firm responsibilities, being older in age, and when their firm has higher annual stock returns. Fourth, the punitive trade tariffs and other trading policies cause CEO sentiment to worsen with regard to imports from China, especially after the trade war.

Included in

Business Commons