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Is the Offer Price in IPOs Informative? Underpricing, Ownership Structure, and Performance

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  • Chitru S. Fernando
  • Srinivasan Krishnamurthy
  • Paul A. Spindt

Abstract

When firms go public in an IPO, they must choose a number of shares to offer and a price level for those shares. Given an estimated total value, this division would seem to have little economic significance. Casual empiricism and the evidence from stock splits, however, suggest that firms do not choose their IPO share price level arbitrarily. We ask whether IPO prices are informative, in the sense that they relate systematically to other choices made by the firm and to firm characteristics. We find that IPO prices are informative in this sense. We find that the relationship between IPO price level and underpricing is U-shaped, and demonstrate economically significant differences across firms choosing different IPO prices in the amounts of money left on the table due to underpricing. We also find that institutional ownership and underwriter reputation are greater at higher price levels, and that post-IPO turnover is lower for high-priced IPOs than for mid-priced IPOs. Moreover, firms choosing a higher (lower) stock price level experience lower (higher) mortality rates. Taken together, our results provide strong evidence that the corporate decision that involves picking a share price level has economic significance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 01-33.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:01-33

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Keywords: Initial public offerings; IPO offer price; stock splits;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Tomas Mantecon & Paul Thistle, 2011. "The IPO market as a screening device and the going public decision: evidence from acquisitions of privately and publicly held firms," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 325-361, October.
  2. Ben Sopranzetti & Emilio Venezian & Xiaoli Wang, 2006. "The Market for New Issues: Impact of Offering Price on Price Support and Underpricing," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 165-176, March.

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