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Pension plan funding and stock market efficiency

  • Francesco Franzoni
  • José M. Marín

The paper argues that the market signifficantly overvalues firms with severely underfunded pension plans. These companies earn lower stock returns than firms with healthier pension plans for at least five years after the first emergence of the underfunding. The low returns are not explained by risk, price momentum, earnings momentum, or accruals. Further, the evidence suggests that investors do not anticipate the impact of the pension liability on future earnings, and they are surprised when the negative implications of underfunding ultimately materialize. Finally, underfunded firms have poor operating performance, and they earn low returns, although they are value companies.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/871.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 871.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:871
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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