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Option grant backdating investigations and capital market discipline

Author

Listed:
  • Carow, Kenneth
  • Heron, Randall
  • Lie, Erik
  • Neal, Robert

Abstract

Using a large sample of option granting firms, some of which were investigated for option grant backdating, we develop a predictive model for such investigations and examine how the capital market responded as the backdating scandal unfolded. Firms that were investigated experienced significant stock price declines from the beginning of the Wall Street Journal's Perfect Payday series through the end of 2006. Firms predicted to have backdating problems, but not the subject of publicly revealed investigations, experienced stock price performance during the same period that was remarkably similar to that of firms with publicly revealed investigations. In contrast, firms not predicted to have backdating problems experienced normal stock price performance. Our results suggest that capital markets disciplined companies with suspicious option grant histories, often prior to, and irrespective of, any public revelation of an investigation into the matter.

Suggested Citation

  • Carow, Kenneth & Heron, Randall & Lie, Erik & Neal, Robert, 2009. "Option grant backdating investigations and capital market discipline," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 562-572, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:15:y:2009:i:5:p:562-572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Yaniv Grinstein & Urs Peyer, 2006. "Lucky CEOs," NBER Working Papers 12771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Yermack, David, 1997. " Good Timing: CEO Stock Option Awards and Company News Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 449-476, June.
    3. Bernile, Gennaro & Jarrell, Gregg A., 2009. "The impact of the options backdating scandal on shareholders," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, pages 2-26.
    4. Heron, Randall A. & Lie, Erik, 2007. "Does backdating explain the stock price pattern around executive stock option grants?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 271-295, February.
    5. Randall A. Heron & Erik Lie, 2009. "What Fraction of Stock Option Grants to Top Executives Have Been Backdated or Manipulated?," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 513-525.
    6. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Lee, D. Scott & Martin, Gerald S., 2008. "The Cost to Firms of Cooking the Books," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 581-611, September.
    7. Erik Lie, 2005. "On the Timing of CEO Stock Option Awards," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 802-812.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ertimur, Yonca & Ferri, Fabrizio & Maber, David A., 2012. "Reputation penalties for poor monitoring of executive pay: Evidence from option backdating," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 118-144.
    2. Carver, Brian T. & Cline, Brandon N. & Hoag, Matthew L., 2013. "Underperformance of founder-led firms: An examination of compensation contracting theories during the executive stock options backdating scandal," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 294-310.
    3. Bernile, Gennaro & Sulaeman, Johan & Wang, Qin, 2015. "Institutional trading during a wave of corporate scandals: “Perfect Payday”?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 191-209.

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