Do Takeover Defenses Impair Equity Investors’ Perception of ‘Higher Quality’ Earnings?
Seoul National University - College of Business Administration
Seoul National University
May 13, 2011
Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2012
Prior studies show that managerial entrenchment deteriorates the credibility of earnings, hence reducing the value relevance of earnings. However, prior literature documents that the likelihood of earnings management is lower in firms with more antitakeover 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, M41
Date posted: March 23, 2010 ; Last revised: September 5, 2014