Fundamentals, Market Timing, and Seasoned Equity Offerings
38 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2007 Last revised: 5 Oct 2007
Date Written: July 2007
Firms conduct SEOs to resolve a near-term liquidity squeeze, and not primarily to exploit market timing opportunities. Without the SEO proceeds, 62.6% of issuers would have insufficient cash to implement their chosen operating and non-SEO financing decisions the year after the SEO. Although the SEO decision is positively related to a firm's market-to-book (M/B) ratio and prior excess stock return and negatively related to its future excess return, these relations are economically immaterial. For example, a 150% swing in future net of market stock returns (from a 75% gain to a 75% loss over three years) increases by only 1% the probability of an SEO in the immediately prior year. Strikingly, most firms with quintessential "market timer" characteristics fail to issue stock and a non-trivial number of mature firms do issue stock, with current and former dividend payers raising more than half of all issue proceeds.
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