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Employee stock option plans and stock market reaction: evidence from Finland

  • Seppo Ikaheimo
  • Anders Kjellman
  • Jan Holmberg
  • Sari Jussila
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    This paper examines whether the adoption of stock option plans results in changes in shareholders' wealth, and whether the stock market reactions to ESOP announcements could be explained by the target group of ESOP and the dilution effect. Short-horizon test methods are applied for this purpose. The sample consists of ESOP announcements of Finnish publicly quoted companies on the Helsinki Stock Exchange during the time period 1988-1998. The event study results show a slightly positive market reaction to announcements of ESOPs targeted to management and a negative market reaction in the case of ESOPs targeted to all employees. The results of regression analysis show that the ESOPs with limited dilution convey positive information to the stock market and the dilution effect has a negative impact on stock returns, especially in the case of ESOPs targeted to all employees.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of Finance.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 105-122

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:10:y:2004:i:2:p:105-122
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    1. Brickley, James A. & Bhagat, Sanjai & Lease, Ronald C., 1985. "The impact of long-range managerial compensation plans on shareholder wealth," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 115-129, April.
    2. Corrado, Charles J. & Zivney, Terry L., 1992. "The Specification and Power of the Sign Test in Event Study Hypothesis Tests Using Daily Stock Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 465-478, September.
    3. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
    4. DeFusco, Richard A & Johnson, Robert R & Zorn, Thomas S, 1990. " The Effect of Executive Stock Option Plans on Stockholders and Bondholders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 617-27, June.
    5. Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1985. "Using daily stock returns : The case of event studies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-31, March.
    6. Maynes, Elizabeth & Rumsey, John, 1993. "Conducting event studies with thinly traded stocks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 145-157, February.
    7. Huddart, Steven & Lang, Mark, 1996. "Employee stock option exercises an empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 5-43, February.
    8. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    9. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
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