IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/sfb373/199942.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The market reaction to stock splits: Evidence from Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Wulff, Christian

Abstract

Although stock splits seem to be a purely cosmetic event, there exists ample empirical evidence from the United States that stock splits are associated with abnormal returns on both the announcement and the execution day, and additionally with an increase in variance following the ex-day. This paper investigates the market reaction to stock splits using a set of German firms. Consistent with the U.S. findings, similar effects are observed for the sample of German stock splits. Institutional differences between Germany and the U.S. allow to disentangle the three main hypotheses on the announcement effect - signalling, liquidity, and neglected firm hypothesis - to gain further insights into their relative explanation power. This paper argues that legal restrictions strongly limit the ability of German companies to use a stock split for signaling. Consistently, abnormal returns around the announcement day are much lower in Germany than in the U.S. Although a significant increase in liquidity can be found after the split crosssectional tests do not lend any support to the hypothesis that price changes are positively related to liquidity changes. This is in contrast to the results of Muscarella/Vetsuypens (1996) and Amihud/Mendelson/Lauterbach (1997). The paper shows that the announcement effect to German stock splits is best explained by a neglected firm effect. On the methodological side the effect of thin trading on event study results is examined. Using tradeto-trade returns increases the significance of abnormal returns but the difference between alternative return measurement methods is relatively small in short event periods. Thus, the observed market reaction cannot be attributed to measurement problems caused by thin trading.

Suggested Citation

  • Wulff, Christian, 1999. "The market reaction to stock splits: Evidence from Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,42, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:199942
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/61734/1/722275811.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Dimson, E & Marsh, P R, 1983. " The Stability of UK Risk Measures and the Problem of Thin Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 753-783, June.
    3. Koski, Jennifer Lynch, 1998. "Measurement Effects and the Variance of Returns after Stock Splits and Stock Dividends," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 143-162.
    4. 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.
    5. Conrad, Jennifer S & Conroy, Robert, 1994. " Market Microstructure and the Ex-date Return," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1507-1519, September.
    6. Lakonishok, Josef & Lev, Baruch, 1987. " Stock Splits and Stock Dividends: Why, Who, and When," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(4), pages 913-932, September.
    7. Maynes, Elizabeth & Rumsey, John, 1993. "Conducting event studies with thinly traded stocks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 145-157, February.
    8. Marsh, Paul, 1979. "Equity Rights Issues and the Efficiency of the UK Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(4), pages 839-862, September.
    9. Dubofsky, David A, 1991. " Volatility Increases Subsequent to NYSE and AMEX Stock Splits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 421-431, March.
    10. Kryzanowski, Lawrence & Zhang, Hao, 1993. "Market behaviour around Canadian stock-split ex-dates," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 57-81, June.
    11. Brennan, Michael J. & Copeland, Thomas E., 1988. "Stock splits, stock prices, and transaction costs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 83-101, October.
    12. Michael T. Maloney & J. Harold Mulherin, 1992. "The Effects of Splitting on the Ex: A Microstructure Reconciliation," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 21(4), Winter.
    13. Dimson, Elroy & Marsh, Paul, 1986. "Event study methodologies and the size effect : The case of UK press recommendations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 113-142, September.
    14. Brennan, Michael J & Hughes, Patricia J, 1991. " Stock Prices and the Supply of Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1665-1691, December.
    15. Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
    16. Copeland, Thomas E, 1979. "Liquidity Changes Following Stock Splits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(1), pages 115-141, March.
    17. Ohlson, James A. & Penman, Stephen H., 1985. "Volatility increases subsequent to stock splits: An empirical aberration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 251-266, June.
    18. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim & Lauterbach, Beni, 1997. "Market microstructure and securities values: Evidence from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 365-390, September.
    19. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1986. "Asset pricing and the bid-ask spread," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 223-249, December.
    20. McNichols, Maureen & Dravid, Ajay, 1990. " Stock Dividends, Stock Splits, and Signaling," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 857-879, July.
    21. Boehmer, Ekkehart & Masumeci, Jim & Poulsen, Annette B., 1991. "Event-study methodology under conditions of event-induced variance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 253-272, December.
    22. 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.
    23. Dravid, Ajay R, 1987. " A Note on the Behavior of Stock Returns around Ex-dates of Stock Distributions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(1), pages 163-168, March.
    24. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-1617, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Charitou, Andreas & Vafeas, Nikos & Zachariades, Charis, 2005. "Irrational investor response to stock splits in an emerging market," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 133-149.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:199942. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sfhubde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.