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Earnings Management and The Post-Issue Underperformance in Seasoned Equity Offerings


  • Ivo Welch
  • Siew Hong Teoh
  • T.J. Wong


Ritter and Loughran~(1995a) and Spiess and Affleck-Graves~ (1995) document that firms issuing seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) severely underperform the stock market within five years after the offering. Our paper examines the hypothesis that SEO investors are too optimistic because they naively extrapolate earnings trends without fully adjusting for observable discretionary managerial reporting choices. We find that aggressive firms, which report high pre-SEO earnings at the expense of post-SEO earnings by taking high pre-issue discretionary current accruals, subsequently perform worse in terms of abnormal stock returns and industry-adjusted net income. Aggressive quartile firms earn a highly significant --48% four-year compounded abnormal return; conservative quartile firms earn an insignificant --7% four-year compounded abnormal return. In contrast with the pre-SEO discretionary current accruals, the non- discretionary current accruals and both discretionary and non- discretionary long-term accruals do not predict post-SEO returns reliably.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivo Welch & Siew Hong Teoh & T.J. Wong, 1995. "Earnings Management and The Post-Issue Underperformance in Seasoned Equity Offerings," Finance 9-95., University of California at Los Angeles.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:callfi:_004

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    Cited by:

    1. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
    2. KENT D. DANIEL & David Hirshleifer & AVANIDHAR SUBRAHMANYAM, 2004. "A Theory of Overconfidence, Self-Attribution, and Security Market Under- and Over-reactions," Finance 0412006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Barber, Brad M. & Lyon, John D., 1997. "Detecting long-run abnormal stock returns: The empirical power and specification of test statistics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 341-372, March.
    4. David Hirshleifer, 2008. "Psychological Bias as a Driver of Financial Regulation," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(5), pages 856-874.
    5. Yongtao Hong & Margaret Andersen, 2011. "The Relationship Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Earnings Management: An Exploratory Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(4), pages 461-471, December.
    6. Illoong Kwon & Katherine Guthrie & Jan Sokolowsky, 2008. "On the Objective of Corporate Boards: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 08-08, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    7. Kasanen, Eero & Kinnunen, Juha & Niskanen, Jyrki, 1996. "Dividend-based earnings management: Empirical evidence from Finland," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 283-312, October.
    8. Maher Kooli & Jean-Marc Suret, 2001. "The Aftermarket Performance of Initial Public Offerings in Canada," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-52, CIRANO.
    9. Barber, Brad M. & Lyon, John D., 1996. "Detecting abnormal operating performance: The empirical power and specification of test statistics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 359-399, July.
    10. Assem Safieddine & Sheridan Titman, 1997. "Debt and Corporate Performance: Evidence from Unsuccessful Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 6068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Juan Monterrey Mayoral & Amparo Sánchez-Segura, 2007. "Rotación y dependencia económica de los auditores: sus efectos sobre la calidad del resultado en las compañías cotizadas españolas," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 31(1), pages 119-159, January.
    12. Nadia Sbei, 2005. "Analyse Du Rôle Prédictif Des Accruals Discrétionnaires : Effet Des Normes Comptables Utilisées," Post-Print halshs-00581287, HAL.
    13. Jyrki Niskanen & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "Earnings cosmetics in a tax-driven accounting environment: evidence from Finnish public firms," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 443-452.
    14. Pornsit Jiraporn, 2005. "An empirical analysis of corporate takeover defences and earnings management: evidence from the US," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 293-303.
    15. Jeffrey Gramlich & Ole Sørensen, 2004. "Voluntary management earnings forecasts and discretionary accruals: evidence from Danish IPOs," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 235-259.
    16. Maher Kooli & Jean-Marc Suret, 2001. "The Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings: Further Canadian Evidence," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-50, CIRANO.
    17. Brav, Alon & Geczy, Christopher & Gompers, Paul A., 2000. "Is the abnormal return following equity issuances anomalous?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 209-249, May.

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