Ex-Day Returns of Stock Distributions: An Anchoring Explanation
Management Science, Forthcoming.
47 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2014 Last revised: 9 Apr 2017
Date Written: October 23, 2016
We offer a new anchoring explanation for the ex-day abnormal returns of stock distributions including stock dividend distributions, splits, and reverse splits. We propose that investors tend to anchor on cum-day prices in valuating ex-distribution stocks, resulting in a positive association between ex-day returns and adjustment factors. We find that this positive return-factor relation exists for all three types of stock distributions and in both the pre- and post-decimalization periods. Furthermore, we find that this positive return-factor relation is more pronounced among events that are more subject to investors’ anchoring propensity, featured by less investor attention, greater arbitrage difficulty, greater valuation uncertainty, less investor sophistication, and higher market sentiment. Lastly, using brokerage account data, we show that stocks that are traded by investors with more investment experience demonstrate a weaker return-factor relation.
Keywords: anchoring; ex-day return; splits; stock dividends
JEL Classification: G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation