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Cash holdings and share repurchases: International evidence

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  • Lee, Bong Soo
  • Suh, Jungwon

Abstract

In this study, we examine the patterns and determinants of share repurchases using firm-level data from seven major countries—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.—over the period 1998–2006. We find that while non-U.S. firms do not repurchase shares as much as U.S. firms do, both U.S. and non-U.S. firms display a common set of share repurchase behaviors. For example, across countries, firms use share repurchases as a flexible means of distributing cash. More importantly, large cash holdings are significantly associated with the amount of share repurchases in all countries. There is evidence that large cash holdings held by repurchasing firms represent excess cash. Firms tend to experience substantial increases in cash holdings prior to share repurchase as a result of reductions in capital expenditures. Overall, our evidence lends support to two hypotheses: (i) firms discharge excess capital to reduce agency conflicts and (ii) firms use repurchases to distribute temporary cash flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Bong Soo & Suh, Jungwon, 2011. "Cash holdings and share repurchases: International evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1306-1329.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1306-1329
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.06.006
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    2. Heru Fahlevi & Muhammad Arfan & Hafidah Hafidah, 2016. "The Influence of Dividend Payments, Profitability, Liquidity and Firm Size for Cash Holdings ? Case of Indonesian Manufacturing Companies," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 4106579, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    3. Krieger, Kevin & Lee, Bong-Soo & Mauck, Nathan, 2013. "Do senior citizens prefer dividends? Local clienteles vs. firm characteristics," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 150-165.
    4. Ji, Philip Inyeob, 2016. "Is corporate payout taxation a long run phenomenon? Evidence from international data," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 84-100.
    5. Paul McGuinness & Kevin Lam & João Vieito, 2015. "Gender and other major board characteristics in China: Explaining corporate dividend policy and governance," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 989-1038, December.
    6. Rashid Ameer, 2012. "Impact of cash holdings and ownership concentration on firm valuation: Empirical evidence from Australia," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 448-467, October.
    7. Annabi, Amira & Breton, Michèle & François, Pascal, 2012. "Game theoretic analysis of negotiations under bankruptcy," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(3), pages 603-613.
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    9. Burns, Natasha & McTier, Brian C. & Minnick, Kristina, 2015. "Equity-incentive compensation and payout policy in Europe," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 85-97.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Share repurchases; Cash holdings; Free cash flow; Temporary cash flow;

    JEL classification:

    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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