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On the Timing of CEO Stock Option Awards

Author

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  • Erik Lie

    () (Henry B. Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000)

Abstract

This study documents that the abnormal stock returns are negative before unscheduled executive option awards and positive afterward. The return pattern has intensified over time, suggesting that executives have gradually become more effective at timing awards to their advantage, and possibly explaining why the results in this study differ from those in past studies. Moreover, I document that the predicted returns are abnormally low before the awards and abnormally high afterward. Unless executives possess an extraordinary ability to forecast the future marketwide movements that drive these predicted returns, the results suggest that at least some of the awards are timed retroactively.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Lie, 2005. "On the Timing of CEO Stock Option Awards," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 802-812, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:51:y:2005:i:5:p:802-812
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1050.0365
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reinganum, Marc R., 1983. "The anomalous stock market behavior of small firms in January : Empirical tests for tax-loss selling effects," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 89-104, June.
    2. Sandra Renfro Callaghan & P. Jane Saly & Chandra Subramaniam, 2004. "The Timing of Option Repricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1651-1676, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Chauvin, Keith W. & Shenoy, Catherine, 2001. "Stock price decreases prior to executive stock option grants," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-76, March.
    5. Keim, Donald B., 1983. "Size-related anomalies and stock return seasonality : Further empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 13-32, June.
    6. Huddart, Steven & Lang, Mark, 2003. "Information distribution within firms: evidence from stock option exercises," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-3), pages 3-31, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Aboody, David & Kasznik, Ron, 2000. "CEO stock option awards and the timing of corporate voluntary disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-100, February.
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    Keywords

    CEO stock option awards; timing;

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