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The IPO Lock-Up Period: Implications for Market Efficiency And Downward Sloping Demand Curves

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  • Eli Ofek
  • Matthew Richardson

Abstract

After an initial public offering, most existing shareholders are subject to a lock-up period in which they cannot sell their shares for a prespecifed time. At the end of the lock-up, there is a permanent and large shift in the supply of shares. The lock-up expiration is a particularly interesting event to study because it is (i) completely known and observable, and (ii) potentially meaningful economically given the existing literature on supply shocks. This paper investigates volume and price patterns around this period, and documents several interesting results. Specifically, even though the event is totally anticipated, there is a 1% - 3% drop in the stock price, and a 40% increase in volume, when the lock-up ends. Various explanations are considered and rejected, suggesting a new anomalous fact against market efficiency. However, convincing evidence is provided which shows that this inefficiency is not exploitable, i.e., arbitrage is not violated. This aside, the evidence points to a downward sloping demand curve for shares, with the most likely explanation pointing to a permanent, long-run effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Eli Ofek & Matthew Richardson, 2000. "The IPO Lock-Up Period: Implications for Market Efficiency And Downward Sloping Demand Curves," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-054, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:nystfi:99-054
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    File URL: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/fin/workpapers/papers99/wpa99054.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Harper, Joel T. & Johnston, Jarrod & Madura, Jeff, 2004. "Follow-on offerings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 251-264, January.
    2. Saade, Samer, 2015. "Investor sentiment and the underperformance of technology firms initial public offerings," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 205-232.
    3. Daniel J. Bradley & Bradford D. Jordan & Ha-Chin Yi & Ivan C. Roten, 2001. "Venture Capital And Ipo Lockup Expiration: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 24(4), pages 465-493, December.
    4. Harrison Hong & José Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2006. "Asset Float and Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1073-1117, June.
    5. Chatalova, Natalia & How, Janice C.Y. & Verhoeven, Peter, 2016. "Analyst coverage and IPO management forecasts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 263-277.
    6. Ang, James S. & Kraizberg, Elli, 2004. "An analysis of a strategy for management to separate and reward supportive shareholders," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 639-658, September.
    7. Chan, Konan & Lin, Yueh-hsiang & Wang, Yanzhi, 2015. "The information content of R&D reductions," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 131-155.
    8. Ertimur, Yonca & Sletten, Ewa & Sunder, Jayanthi, 2014. "Large shareholders and disclosure strategies: Evidence from IPO lockup expirations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 79-95.
    9. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Lee, Gemma & Masulis, Ronald W., 2013. "Contracting under asymmetric information: Evidence from lockup agreements in seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 607-626.
    10. Eli Ofek & Matthew Richardson, 2001. "DotCom Mania: The Rise and Fall of Internet Stock Prices," NBER Working Papers 8630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Susanne Espenlaub & Marc Goergen & Arif Khurshed & Marko Remenar, 2013. "Do directors trade after IPO lockup expiry?," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on IPOs, chapter 14, pages 275-294 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Jarrod Johnston & Jeff Madura & Joel Harper, 2005. "Interaction Between Short Selling and Potential Insider Selling in the IPO Aftermarket," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 27(3), pages 283-302, September.
    13. Shamsul Bahrain Mohamed-Arshad & Kamarun Nisham Taufil-Mohd & Nurwati Ashikkin Ahmad-Zaluki, 2016. "Share Price and Trading Volume Reactions to Lockup Expiration in Malaysian IPOs," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(3), pages 958-962.
    14. Aggarwal, Rajesh K. & Krigman, Laurie & Womack, Kent L., 2002. "Strategic IPO underpricing, information momentum, and lockup expiration selling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 105-137, October.
    15. Goergen, Marc & Mazouz, Khelifa & Yin, Shuxing, 2010. "Price, volume and spread effects associated with the expiry of lock-in agreements: Evidence from the Hong Kong IPO market," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 442-459, November.
    16. Hoque, Hafiz, 2014. "Role of asymmetric information and moral hazard on IPO underpricing and lockup," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 81-105.
    17. Norliza Che-Yahya & Ruzita Abdul-Rahim, 2015. "Role of Lockup Provision and Institutional Investors in Restricting IPO Flipping Activity: Is There A Moderating Effect of Investor Demand?," Asian Academy of Management Journal of Accounting and Finance (AAMJAF), Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, vol. 11(2), pages 1-28.
    18. Beng Soon Chong & Zhenbin Liu, 2016. "CAR associated with SEO share lockups: Real or illusionary?," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 513-541, October.

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