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Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices

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  • Cai, Jie
  • Zhang, Zhe
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    Abstract

    We document a significant and negative effect of the change in a firm's leverage ratio on its stock prices. We find that the negative effect is stronger for firms that have higher leverage ratios, higher likelihood of default, and face more severe financial constraints. Moreover, firms with an increase in leverage ratio tend to have less future investment. These findings are consistent with Myers' (1977) debt overhang theory that an increase in leverage may lead to future underinvestment, thus reducing a firm's value.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 391-402

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:391-402

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

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    Keywords: Leverage change Debt overhang Capital structure;

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    Cited by:
    1. Kallberg, Jarl & Liu, Crocker H. & Villupuram, Sriram, 2013. "Preferred stock: Some insights into capital structure," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 77-86.
    2. Ogden, Joseph P. & Wu, Shanhong, 2013. "Reassessing the effect of growth options on leverage," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 182-195.
    3. Darioush Damouri & Jamal Barzegari Khanagha & Mahin Kaffash, 2013. "The Relationship between Changes in the Financial Leverage and the Values of the Tehran Listed Firms," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 3(3), pages 198-210, July.
    4. Boudry, Walter I. & Kallberg, Jarl G. & Liu, Crocker H., 2013. "Investment opportunities and share repurchases," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 23-38.
    5. Jones, Steven L. & Yeoman, John C., 2012. "Bias in estimating the systematic risk of extreme performers: Implications for financial analysis, the leverage effect, and long-run reversals," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-21.

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