IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Share repurchases as a potential tool to mislead investors

  • Chan, Konan
  • Ikenberry, David L.
  • Lee, Inmoo
  • Wang, Yanzhi
Registered author(s):

    A rich literature argues that stock repurchases often serve as positive economic signals beneficial to investors. Yet due to their inherent flexibility, open-market repurchase programs have long been criticized as weak signals lacking commitment. We evaluate whether some managers potentially use buyback announcements to mislead investors. We focus on cases where managers were seemingly under heavy pressure to boost stock prices and might have announced a repurchase only to convey a false signal. For suspect cases, the immediate market reaction to a buyback announcement does not differ from that generally observed. However over longer horizons, suspect firms do not enjoy the improvement in economic performance otherwise observed. Suspect firms repurchase less stock. Further, managers in suspect firms have comparatively higher exposure to stock options, a potentially endogenous result suggesting greater sensitivity to both stock valuation and to future equity dilution. Overall, the results suggest only a limited number of managers may have used buybacks in a misleading way as "cheap talk." Yet as theory also suggests, we find no long-run economic benefit to this behavior.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929-1199(09)00073-X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 137-158

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:137-158
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Eugene F Fama, . "Market Efficiency, Long-Term Returns, and Behavioral Finance," CRSP working papers 448, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    2. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 2000. "Forecasting Profitability and Earnings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(2), pages 161-75, April.
    3. Lehn, Kenneth & Poulsen, Annette, 1989. " Free Cash Flow and Stockholder Gains in Going Private Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 771-87, July.
    4. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
    5. Fried, Jesse M., 2005. "Informed Trading and False Signaling with Open Market Repurchases," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt8x6082cn, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    6. Dittmar, Amy K, 2000. "Why Do Firms Repurchase Stock?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(3), pages 331-55, July.
    7. Clifford P. Stephens & Michael S. Weisbach, 1998. "Actual Share Reacquisitions in Open-Market Repurchase Programs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 313-333, 02.
    8. Alon Brav & Christopher Geczy & Paul A. Gompers, . "Is the Abnormal Return Following Equity Issuances Anomalous?," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 2-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    9. David Ikenberry & Josef Lakonishok & Theo Vermaelen, 1999. "Stock Repurchases in Canada: Performance and Strategic Trading," NBER Working Papers 7325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1997. " The Operating Performance of Firms Conducting Seasoned Equity Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1823-50, December.
    11. Josef Lakonishok & Robert W. Vishny & Andrei Shleifer, 1993. "Contrarian Investment, Extrapolation, and Risk," NBER Working Papers 4360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R., 2000. "Uniformly least powerful tests of market efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 361-389, March.
    13. Barber, Brad M. & Lyon, John D., 1997. "Detecting long-run abnormal stock returns: The empirical power and specification of test statistics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 341-372, March.
    14. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
    15. Barber, Brad M. & Lyon, John D., 1996. "Detecting abnormal operating performance: The empirical power and specification of test statistics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 359-399, July.
    16. Ikenberry, David & Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1995. "Market underreaction to open market share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 181-208.
    17. SANJEEV BHOJRAJ & PAUL HRIBAR & MARC PICCONI & JOHN McINNIS, 2009. "Making Sense of Cents: An Examination of Firms That Marginally Miss or Beat Analyst Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2361-2388, October.
    18. Jonathan Clarke & Craig Dunbar & Kathleen Kahle, 2004. "The Long-Run Performance of Secondary Equity Issues: A Test of the Windows of Opportunity Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(3), pages 575-604, July.
    19. Teoh, Siew Hong & Welch, Ivo & Wong, T. J., 1998. "Earnings management and the underperformance of seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 63-99, October.
    20. Fenn, George W. & Liang, Nellie, 2001. "Corporate payout policy and managerial stock incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 45-72, April.
    21. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely, 2004. "The Information Content of Share Repurchase Programs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 651-680, 04.
    22. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1996. " Multifactor Explanations of Asset Pricing Anomalies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 55-84, March.
    23. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    24. 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.
    25. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    26. Kothari, S.P. & Leone, Andrew J. & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "Performance matched discretionary accrual measures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-197, February.
    27. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    28. John D. Lyon & Brad M. Barber & Chih-Ling Tsai, 1999. "Improved Methods for Tests of Long-Run Abnormal Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 165-201, 02.
    29. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    30. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
    31. Mitchell, Mark L & Stafford, Erik, 2000. "Managerial Decisions and Long-Term Stock Price Performance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(3), pages 287-329, July.
    32. Guojin Gong & Henock Louis & Amy X. Sun, 2008. "Earnings Management and Firm Performance Following Open-Market Repurchases," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 947-986, 04.
    33. David L. Ikenberry & Theo Vermaelen, 1996. "The Option to Repurchase Stock," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 25(4), Winter.
    34. Urs Peyer, 2009. "The Nature and Persistence of Buyback Anomalies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1693-1745, April.
    35. Lie, Erik, 2005. "Operating performance following open market share repurchase announcements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 411-436, September.
    36. Lee, Inmoo, 1997. " Do Firms Knowingly Sell Overvalued Equity?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1439-66, September.
    37. Massa, Massimo & Rehman, Zahid & Vermaelen, Theo, 2007. "Mimicking repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 624-666, June.
    38. Christine Jolls, 1998. "Stock Repurchases and Incentive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
    40. Vermaelen, Theo, 1981. "Common stock repurchases and market signalling : An empirical study," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 139-183, June.
    41. Brous, Peter A. & Kini, Omesh, 1993. "A reexamination of analysts' earnings forecasts for takeover targets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 201-225, April.
    42. Konan Chan & Louis K. C. Chan & Narasimhan Jegadeesh & Josef Lakonishok, 2006. "Earnings Quality and Stock Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1041-1082, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:137-158. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.