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What Do Stock Splits Really Signal?


  • Ikenberry, David L.
  • Rankine, Graeme
  • Stice, Earl K.


We observe significant post-split excess returns of 7.93 percent in the first year and 12.15 percent in the first three years for a sample of 1,275 two-for-one stock splits. These excess returns follow an announcement return of 3.38 percent, indicating that the market underreacts to split announcements. The evidence suggests that splits realign prices to a lower trading range, but managers self-select by conditioning the decision to split on expected future performance. Presplit runup and post-split excess returns are inversely related, indicating that our results are not caused by momentum.

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  • Ikenberry, David L. & Rankine, Graeme & Stice, Earl K., 1996. "What Do Stock Splits Really Signal?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 357-375, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:31:y:1996:i:03:p:357-375_00

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