Do Takeover Defenses Impair Equity Investors’ Perception of ‘Higher Quality’ Earnings?
Seoul National University - College of Business Administration
Hong Kong Polytechnic University - School of Accounting and Finance
December 31, 2009
Prior studies show that managerial entrenchment deteriorates the credibility of earnings, hence reducing the value relevance of earnings. However, recent works of Zhao and Chen (2008a, 2008b, 2009) document that the likelihood of earnings management is lower in firms with more anti-takeover provisions since entrenched managers pursue a ‘quiet life’ instead of striving to maximize wealth of shareholders. Despite ‘higher quality’ earnings of such firms, we find that takeover protection impairs the perception of equity investors on earnings quality. We attribute this contradictory result to the failure of management to take risky but value-enhancing projects owing to pursuits of a quiet life. We also expect and find that investments of more defensive firms are valued at a discount, suggesting that equity investors expect such firms to take less advantage of their growth potentials. We corroborate this result by showing lower variability in firm value of more defensive firms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: takeover defenses, earnings informativeness, earnings quality, market perception
JEL Classification: G34, M41working papers series
Date posted: March 23, 2010
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