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The Variability of IPO Initial Returns

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  • Michelle Lowry
  • Micah S. Officer
  • G. William Schwert

Abstract

The monthly volatility of IPO initial returns is substantial, fluctuates dramatically over time, and is considerably larger during "hot" IPO markets. Consistent with IPO theory, the volatility of initial returns is higher among firms whose value is more difficult to estimate, i.e., among firms with higher information asymmetry. Our findings highlight underwriters' difficulty in valuing companies characterized by high uncertainty, and, as a result, raise serious questions about the efficacy of the traditional firm commitment underwritten IPO process. One implication of our results is that alternate mechanisms, such as auctions, may be beneficial, particularly for firms that value price discovery over the auxiliary services provided by underwriters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12295.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Publication status: published as Michelle Lowry & Micah S. Officer & G. William Schwert, 2010. "The Variability of IPO Initial Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 425-465, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12295

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Cited by:
  1. Agathee, Ushad Subadar & Sannassee, Raja Vinesh & Brooks, Chris, 2012. "The underpricing of IPOs on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 281-303.
  2. Degeorge, François & Derrien, François & Womack, Kent L., 2010. "Auctioned IPOs: The US evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 177-194, November.
  3. Grammenos, Costas Th. & Papapostolou, Nikos C., 2012. "US shipping initial public offerings: Do prospectus and market information matter?," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 276-295.
  4. Liu, Jia & Lister, Roger & Pang, Dong, 2013. "Corporate evolution following initial public offerings in China: A life-course approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-20.
  5. Çolak, Gönül & Günay, Hikmet, 2011. "Strategic waiting in the IPO markets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 555-583, June.
  6. Boehme, Rodney & Çolak, Gönül, 2012. "Primary market characteristics and secondary market frictions of stocks," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 286-327.
  7. Yung, Chris & Çolak, Gönül & Wei Wang, 2008. "Cycles in the IPO market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 192-208, July.
  8. Cecilia Caglio & Kathleen Weiss Hanley & Jennifer Marietta-Westberg, 2013. "Going public abroad," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-68, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Zhang, Feng, 2012. "Information precision and IPO pricing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 331-348.
  10. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Lee, Gemma & Masulis, Ronald W., 2013. "Contracting under asymmetric information: Evidence from lockup agreements in seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 607-626.

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