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On‐market share buybacks, exercisable share options and earnings management

On‐market share buybacks, exercisable share options and earnings management Chan . (2006b) suggest that managers might announce a share buyback to manipulate investors’ perceptions and capitalize on the positive price reaction usually associated with the announcement. The incentive to do so is greater when managers have exercisable options. Prior studies document that managers engage in upwards earnings management for opportunistic reasons related to option holdings (Bergstresser and Philippon, 2006). We examine the association between earnings management and exercisable option holdings for buyback firms to investigate if earnings management in the pre‐buyback period is greater for firms with equity incentives to increase share price. Our results, using 138 buybacks over the period 1996–2003, support our prediction. We find that buyback firms with both exercisable options that are in‐the‐money prior to the buyback announcement as well as options that are exercised in the buyback period have higher discretionary current accruals than buyback firms with no exercisable options, unexercised options or with out‐of‐the‐money options. Overall, our results are consistent with buyback firms with exercisable options using earnings management and buyback announcements to maximize option payoffs, and buyback firms without exercisable options signalling undervaluation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting & Finance Wiley

On‐market share buybacks, exercisable share options and earnings management

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References (52)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© The Authors
ISSN
0810-5391
eISSN
1467-629X
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-629X.2007.00230.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Chan . (2006b) suggest that managers might announce a share buyback to manipulate investors’ perceptions and capitalize on the positive price reaction usually associated with the announcement. The incentive to do so is greater when managers have exercisable options. Prior studies document that managers engage in upwards earnings management for opportunistic reasons related to option holdings (Bergstresser and Philippon, 2006). We examine the association between earnings management and exercisable option holdings for buyback firms to investigate if earnings management in the pre‐buyback period is greater for firms with equity incentives to increase share price. Our results, using 138 buybacks over the period 1996–2003, support our prediction. We find that buyback firms with both exercisable options that are in‐the‐money prior to the buyback announcement as well as options that are exercised in the buyback period have higher discretionary current accruals than buyback firms with no exercisable options, unexercised options or with out‐of‐the‐money options. Overall, our results are consistent with buyback firms with exercisable options using earnings management and buyback announcements to maximize option payoffs, and buyback firms without exercisable options signalling undervaluation.

Journal

Accounting & FinanceWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2008

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