55 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2011 Last revised: 7 Sep 2012
Date Written: August 30, 2012
We examine how product market threats influence firm payout policy and cash holdings. We develop new measures of competitive threats using firms’ product text descriptions. Our primary measure, product market fluidity, captures changes in rival firms’ products relative to the firm’s products. We show that fluidity decreases firm propensity to make payouts via dividends or repurchases and also increases the cash held by firms, especially for firms with less access to financial markets. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that firms’ financial policies are significantly shaped by product market threats and dynamics.
Keywords: Dividends, Repurchases, Payout, Cash, Product Markets, Dynamic Product Markets, Competition
JEL Classification: G35, G30, G31, L10, L21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Hoberg, Gerard and Phillips, Gordon M. and Prabhala, Nagpurnanand, Product Market Threats, Payouts, and Financial Flexibility (August 30, 2012). Journal of Finance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1787315 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1787315