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The Shareholder Wealth Implications of Corporate Lawsuits


  • Sanjai Bhagat
  • John Bizjak
  • Jeffrey L. Coles


Large revisions in dividends are accompanied by stock price reactions for industry rivals of the announcing firm. Though these effects are near-zero on average, their magnitude differs systematically across the firms in the industry. Rivals that are unlikely to be affected by competitive realignments within the industry tend to experience stock price effects like those of the announcing firm. Those that are likely to be affected tend to experience statistically insignificant reactions of the opposite sign. Thus, for some rivals, competitive effects apparently offset contagion effects. We find supporting results for changes in rival's dividends over a longer period. We examine the intra-industry information effects of announcements of dividend initiations. Our results indicate that the stock prices of industry competitors do not react to dividend initiations. Further, analysts do not revise their earnings forecasts for nonannouncing, rival firms. These findings are not sensitive to the manner in which we estimate abnormal returns or calculate forecast revisions. Thus, the information conveyed to the market by the decision to initiate dividends contains no industry-wide component. Dividend initiation appears to be a firm-specific event.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjai Bhagat & John Bizjak & Jeffrey L. Coles, 1998. "The Shareholder Wealth Implications of Corporate Lawsuits," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 27(4), Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:fma:fmanag:bhagat98

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