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Share repurchases as a potential tool to mislead investors

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  • Chan, Konan
  • Ikenberry, David L.
  • Lee, Inmoo
  • Wang, Yanzhi
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    Abstract

    A rich literature argues that stock repurchases often serve as positive economic signals beneficial to investors. Yet due to their inherent flexibility, open-market repurchase programs have long been criticized as weak signals lacking commitment. We evaluate whether some managers potentially use buyback announcements to mislead investors. We focus on cases where managers were seemingly under heavy pressure to boost stock prices and might have announced a repurchase only to convey a false signal. For suspect cases, the immediate market reaction to a buyback announcement does not differ from that generally observed. However over longer horizons, suspect firms do not enjoy the improvement in economic performance otherwise observed. Suspect firms repurchase less stock. Further, managers in suspect firms have comparatively higher exposure to stock options, a potentially endogenous result suggesting greater sensitivity to both stock valuation and to future equity dilution. Overall, the results suggest only a limited number of managers may have used buybacks in a misleading way as "cheap talk." Yet as theory also suggests, we find no long-run economic benefit to this behavior.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 16 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 137-158

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:137-158

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Share repurchase Earnings management Managerial signal;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Haw, In-Mu & Ho, Simon S.M. & Hu, Bingbing & Zhang, Xu, 2013. "Legal Institutions, Ownership Concentration, and Stock Repurchases Around the World: Signal Mimicking?," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 427-458.
    2. Andriosopoulos, Dimitris & Hoque, Hafiz, 2013. "The determinants of share repurchases in Europe," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 65-76.
    3. Chang, Saeyoung & Puthenpurackal, John, 2014. "Repurchases of convertible preferred stock and shareholder wealth," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 623-630.
    4. Andriosopoulos, Dimitris & Andriosopoulos, Kostas & Hoque, Hafiz, 2013. "Information disclosure, CEO overconfidence, and share buyback completion rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5486-5499.
    5. Haw, In-Mu & Ho, Simon S.M. & Hu, Bingbing & Zhang, Xu, 2011. "The contribution of stock repurchases to the value of the firm and cash holdings around the world," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 152-166, February.
    6. Chen, Sheng-Syan & Ho, Kim Wai & Huang, Chia-Wei & Wang, Yanzhi, 2013. "Buyback behavior of initial public offering firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 32-42.
    7. Woan-lih Liang & Konan Chan & Wei-Hsien Lai & Yanzhi Wang, 2013. "Motivation for Repurchases: A Life Cycle Explanation," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 221-242, April.
    8. Liang, Woan-lih, 2012. "Information content of repurchase signals: Tangible or intangible information?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 261-274.
    9. Lee, Bong Soo & Mauck, Nathan, 2014. "Information Asymmetry and the Market Response to Open Market Share Repurchases," MPRA Paper 54066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Chen, Sheng-Syan & Wang, Yanzhi, 2012. "Financial constraints and share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 311-331.

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