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Option grant backdating investigations and capital market discipline

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  • Carow, Kenneth
  • Heron, Randall
  • Lie, Erik
  • Neal, Robert
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    Abstract

    Using a large sample of option granting firms, some of which were investigated for option grant backdating, we develop a predictive model for such investigations and examine how the capital market responded as the backdating scandal unfolded. Firms that were investigated experienced significant stock price declines from the beginning of the Wall Street Journal's Perfect Payday series through the end of 2006. Firms predicted to have backdating problems, but not the subject of publicly revealed investigations, experienced stock price performance during the same period that was remarkably similar to that of firms with publicly revealed investigations. In contrast, firms not predicted to have backdating problems experienced normal stock price performance. Our results suggest that capital markets disciplined companies with suspicious option grant histories, often prior to, and irrespective of, any public revelation of an investigation into the matter.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 562-572

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:15:y:2009:i:5:p:562-572

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

    Related research

    Keywords: Stock option backdating Agency problems Perfect payday;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Randall A. Heron & Erik Lie, 2009. "What Fraction of Stock Option Grants to Top Executives Have Been Backdated or Manipulated?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 513-525, April.
    2. Erik Lie, 2005. "On the Timing of CEO Stock Option Awards," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 802-812, May.
    3. Yermack, David, 1997. " Good Timing: CEO Stock Option Awards and Company News Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 449-76, June.
    4. Heron, Randall A. & Lie, Erik, 2007. "Does backdating explain the stock price pattern around executive stock option grants?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 271-295, February.
    5. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Yaniv Grinstein & Urs Peyer, 2006. "Lucky CEOs," NBER Working Papers 12771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bernile, Gennaro & Jarrell, Gregg A., 2009. "The impact of the options backdating scandal on shareholders," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1-2), pages 2-26, March.
    7. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Lee, D. Scott & Martin, Gerald S., 2008. "The Cost to Firms of Cooking the Books," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 581-611, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Carver, Brian T. & Cline, Brandon N. & Hoag, Matthew L., 2013. "Underperformance of founder-led firms: An examination of compensation contracting theories during the executive stock options backdating scandal," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 294-310.
    2. Ertimur, Yonca & Ferri, Fabrizio & Maber, David A., 2012. "Reputation penalties for poor monitoring of executive pay: Evidence from option backdating," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 118-144.

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