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The Differences Between Stock Splits and Stock Dividends

  • Bechmann, Ken L.

    (Department of Finance, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Raaballe, Johannes

    (Department of Management - University of Aarhus)

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    It is often asserted that stock splits and stock dividends are purely cosmetic events. However, many studies have documented several stock market effects associated with stock splits and stock dividends. This paper examines the effects of these two types of events for the Danish stock market. Consistent with the existing literature, the two events are associated with a significantly positive announcement effect of ap-proximately 2.5%. However, when examining the two events more carefully, several important results are obtained. First, a firm's motivation for announcing the two events is completely different. Second, the positive stock market reaction is closely related to associated changes in a firm's payout policy, but the relationship varies for the two types of events. Finally, there is only very weak evidence for a change in the liquidity of the stock. On the whole, after controlling for the firm's payout policy, the results suggest that a stock split is a cosmetic event and that a stock dividend on its own is considered negative news.

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    File URL: http://openarchive.cbs.dk/cbsweb/handle/10398/7181
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    Paper provided by Copenhagen Business School, Department of Finance in its series Working Papers with number 2004-1.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: 10 Mar 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsfin:2004_001
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Finance, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3, A5, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Phone: +45 3815 3815
    Web page: http://www.cbs.dk/departments/finance/
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    1. Anand S. Desai & M. Nimalendran & S. Venkataraman, 1998. "Changes In Trading Activity Following Stock Splits And Their Effect On Volatility And The Adverse-Information Component Of The Bid-Ask Spread," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 21(2), pages 159-183, 06.
    2. McNichols, Maureen & Dravid, Ajay, 1990. " Stock Dividends, Stock Splits, and Signaling," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 857-79, July.
    3. Fama, Eugene F, et al, 1969. "The Adjustment of Stock Prices to New Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, February.
    4. Hamish Anderson & Steven Cahan & Lawrence C. Rose, 2001. "Stock Dividend Announcement Effects in an Imputation Tax Environment," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5-6), pages 653-669.
    5. Grinblatt, Mark S. & Masulis, Ronald W. & Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The valuation effects of stock splits and stock dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 461-490, December.
    6. Nayak, Subhankar & Prabhala, Nagpurnanand R, 2001. "Disentangling the Dividend Information in Splits: A Decomposition Using Conditional Event-Study Methods," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 1083-1116.
    7. Angel, James J, 1997. " Tick Size, Share Prices, and Stock Splits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 655-81, June.
    8. Paul Schultz, 2000. "Stock Splits, Tick Size, and Sponsorship," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 429-450, 02.
    9. Lakonishok, Josef & Lev, Baruch, 1987. " Stock Splits and Stock Dividends: Why, Who, and When," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(4), pages 913-32, September.
    10. Han, Ki C., 1995. "The Effects of Reverse Splits on the Liquidity of the Stock," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 159-169, March.
    11. Rankine, Graeme & Stice, Earl K., 1997. "The Market Reaction to the Choice of Accounting Method for Stock Splits and Large Stock Dividends," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 161-182, June.
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