62 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 14, 2010
We find significant impact of insider trading activity on the long-run performance of IPOs. We show that, at the aggregate, insiders are net sellers in IPOs that generate positive long-run returns, while they are net buyers in those that underperform. When we analyse individual trades, we find that they adopt contrarian strategies, but their information effectiveness is weak. They buy in underperforming IPOs, but while share prices increase significantly on the announcement date, they become negative in the post trade period. These buy trades are consistent with the price support hypothesis, but, since prices do not revert, their signal is not effective. In contrast, they sell in overperforming IPOs, but the announcement and post-event period are mainly insignificant, suggesting that insiders sell when their IPO reaches its optimal value, and the pre-trade returns drive the excess performance of net sell IPOs. Overall, unlike previous evidence, the direction of stock price reaction to insider trading in IPOs is not consistent with the expected performance, because the valuation uncertainty of IPOs makes the precision of the information content of insider trading weak and the profitability of insiders low. Thus, our results do not support strongly the agency conflict, and the trading on private information hypotheses, and in terms of signalling, insider trades reflect more the past than the future performance.
Keywords: Long run IPO performance, insider trades, London Stock Exchange, market timing
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
By Laura Beny