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Good news and bad news about share repurchases

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  • George W. Fenn
  • Nellie Liang
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    Abstract

    We estimate the cross-sectional relationship between open market repurchases and accounting data for a large sample of dividend- paying and non-dividend paying firms over a twelve year period (1984-95). Consistent with the hypothesis that firms use open market repurchases to reduce the agency costs of free cash flow, we find that repurchases are positively related to proxies for free cash flow and negatively related to proxies for marginal financing costs. We also examine the extent to which management stock options influence the choice between open market repurchases and dividend payments. Because the value of management stock options--like any call option--is negatively related to expected future dividend payments, management can increase the value of its stock options by substituting share repurchases for dividend growth. We find evidence that such substitution occurs: for dividend-paying firms, share repurchases are positively related and dividend increases are negatively related to a proxy for management stock options, whereas for non-dividend-paying firms, the relationship between repurchases and options is weak and statistically insignificant.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1998-04.

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    Date of creation: 1997
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1998-04

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    Related research

    Keywords: Stocks ; Stock - Prices;

    References

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    1. Ahron R. Ofer & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "A Theory of Stock Price Responses to Alternative Corporate Cash Disbursement Methods: Stock Repurchase and Dividends," Finance 0411031, EconWPA.
    2. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. "The effects of management buyouts on operating performance and value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 217-254.
    3. Clifford P. Stephens & Michael S. Weisbach, 1998. "Actual Share Reacquisitions in Open-Market Repurchase Programs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 313-333, 02.
    4. Dann, Larry Y., 1981. "Common stock repurchases : An analysis of returns to bondholders and stockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 113-138, June.
    5. Laurie Simon Bagwell & John B. Shoven, 1988. "Share Repurchases and Acquisitions: An Analysis of Which Firms Participate," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 191-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
    8. Vermaelen, Theo, 1984. "Repurchase Tender Offers, Signaling, and Managerial Incentives," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 163-181, June.
    9. Ikenberry, David & Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1995. "Market underreaction to open market share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 181-208.
    10. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A, 1991. " The Relative Signalling Power of Dutch-Auction and Fixed-Price Self-Tender Offers and Open-Market Share Repurchases," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1243-71, September.
    11. Chowdhry, Bhagwan & Nanda, Vikram, 1994. "Repurchase Premia as a Reason for Dividends: A Dynamic Model of Corporate Payout Policies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 321-50.
    12. Lehn, Kenneth & Poulsen, Annette, 1989. " Free Cash Flow and Stockholder Gains in Going Private Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 771-87, July.
    13. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
    14. Michael J. Barclay & Clifford W. Smith & Ross L. Watts, 1995. "The Determinants Of Corporate Leverage And Dividend Policies," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 7(4), pages 4-19.
    15. Lambert, Richard A. & Lanen, William N. & Larcker, David F., 1989. "Executive Stock Option Plans and Corporate Dividend Policy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(04), pages 409-425, December.
    16. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Christine Jolls, 1998. "Stock Repurchases and Incentive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gunnar Bårdsen & Jurgen Doornik & Jan Tore Klovland, 2004. "A European-type wage equation from an American-style labor market: Evidence from a panel of Norwegian manufacturing industries in the 1930s," Working Paper 2004/4, Norges Bank.
    3. Stehle, Richard & Seifert, Udo, 2003. "Stock Performance around Share Repurchase Announcements in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,48, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    4. Jagannathan, Murali & Stephens, Clifford P. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2000. "Financial flexibility and the choice between dividends and stock repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 355-384, September.
    5. Johannes A. Skjeltorp & Bernt Arne Ødegaard, 2004. "The ownership structure of repurchasing firms," Working Paper 2004/7, Norges Bank.

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