Deregulation, news releases, and price discovery
We hypothesize that the firm’s regulatory environment influences the sensitivity of its equity value to information. Using intraday stock price data of utilities operating in differing regulatory environments we test for systematic differences between the responsiveness of stock prices of utility firms operating in deregulated and regulated environments to a common information set. Our findings reveal sharp differences in responses, with those of utilities operating in deregulated environments the strongest, and the responses of utilities in highly regulated environments the weakest. While the evidence supports our hypothesis, in a broader sense, the evidence suggests that deregulation aids in the process of price discovery. We also find evidence that suggests that deregulation, per se, does not lead to higher stock price volatility. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
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