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Leverage Ratios, Industry Norms, and Stock Price Reaction: An Empirical Investigation of Stock-for-Debt Transactions


  • Robert M. Hull


In this paper, I extend the stock-for-debt research by investigating whether stock value is influenced by how a firm changes its leverage ratio in relationship to its industry leverage ratio norm. I find that announcement-period stock returns for firms moving "away from" industry debt-to-equity norms are significantly more negative than returns for firms moving "closer to" these norms. This finding is consistent with optimal capital structure theory if industry debt-to-equity norms are reasonable approximations of wealth maximizing leverage ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert M. Hull, 1999. "Leverage Ratios, Industry Norms, and Stock Price Reaction: An Empirical Investigation of Stock-for-Debt Transactions," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 28(2), Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:fma:fmanag:hull99

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christie, William G & Schultz, Paul H, 1994. " Why Do NASDAQ Market Makers Avoid Odd-Eighth Quotes?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1813-1840, December.
    2. Dutta, Prajit K & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. " Competition and Collusion in Dealer Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 245-276, March.
    3. Huang, Roger D. & Stoll, Hans R., 1996. "Dealer versus auction markets: A paired comparison of execution costs on NASDAQ and the NYSE," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 313-357, July.
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    5. Goswami, Gautam & Noe, Thomas H & Rebello, Michael J, 1996. "Collusion in Uniform-Price Auctions: Experimental Evidence and Implications for Treasury Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 757-785.
    6. Kandel, Eugene & Marx, Leslie M., 1997. "Nasdaq market structure and spread patterns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 61-89, July.
    7. Oliver Hansch & Narayan Y. Naik & S. Viswanathan, 1999. "Preferencing, Internalization, Best Execution, and Dealer Profits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1799-1828, October.
    8. Godek, Paul E., 1996. "Why Nasdaq market makers avoid odd-eighth quotes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 465-474, July.
    9. Eugene Kandel & Leslie M. Marx, 1999. "Payments for Order Flow on Nasdaq," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 35-66, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emanuela Giacomini & David Ling & Andy Naranjo, 2015. "Leverage and Returns: A Cross-Country Analysis of Public Real Estate Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 125-159, August.
    2. Schrand, Catherine M. & Zechman, Sarah L.C., 2012. "Executive overconfidence and the slippery slope to financial misreporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 311-329.
    3. Muradoğlu, Yaz Gülnur & Sivaprasad, Sheeja, 2012. "Capital structure and abnormal returns," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 328-341.
    4. Robert Ślepaczuk & Grzegorz Zakrzewski & Paweł Sakowski, 2012. "Investment strategies beating the market. What can we squeeze from the market?," Working Papers 2012-04, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

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