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Costly Dividend Signaling: The Case of Loss Firms with Negative Cash Flows

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  • Joos, Peter
  • Plesko, George
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    Abstract

    We examine the dividend-signaling hypothesis in a sample of firms for which dividend increases are particularly costly, namely loss firms with negative cash flows. When compared to loss firms with positive cash flows, we find the predictive power of dividend increases for future return on assets to be greater for loss firms with negative cash flows, consistent with the predictive power of the dividend signal being stronger when its cost is higher. Our results provide support for the dividend-signaling hypothesis and have broader implications since loss firms comprise a large and increasing share of publicly-traded firms.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/7396
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number Costly Dividend Signaling: The Case of Loss Firms with Negative Cash Flows.

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    Date of creation: 10 Dec 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:7396

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    Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
    Phone: 617-253-2659
    Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/
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    Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

    Related research

    Keywords: dividends; dividend signalling; losses;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Alon Brav & John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Roni Michaely, 2003. "Payout Policy in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 9657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
    3. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
    4. Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411.
    5. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely & Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 2005. "Dividend Changes Do Not Signal Changes in Future Profitability," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1659-1682, September.
    6. Doron Nissim, 2001. "Dividend Changes and Future Profitability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2111-2133, December.
    7. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics or Lower Propensity to Pay?."," CRSP working papers 509, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    8. Shlomo Benartzi & Roni Michaely & Richard Thaler, . "Do Changes in Dividends Signal the Future or the Past?," CRSP working papers 327, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    9. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Skinner, Douglas J, 1992. " Dividends and Losses," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1837-63, December.
    10. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 1988. "Earnings information conveyed by dividend initiations and omissions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 149-175, September.
    11. Asquith, Paul & Mullins, David W, Jr, 1983. "The Impact of Initiating Dividend Payments on Shareholders' Wealth," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 77-96, January.
    12. Miller, Merton H & Rock, Kevin, 1985. " Dividend Policy under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1031-51, September.
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