60 Pages Posted: 17 May 2001
Date Written: May 2001
Recent equity carve-outs in US technology stocks appear to violate a basic premise of financial theory: identical assets have identical prices. In our 1998-2000 sample, holders of a share of company A are expected to receive x shares of company B, but the price of A is less than x times the price of B. A prominent example involves 3Com and Palm. Arbitrage does not eliminate these blatant mispricing due to short sale constraints, so that B is overpriced but expensive or impossible to sell short. Evidence from options prices shows that shorting costs are extremely high, eliminating exploitable arbitrage opportunities.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Lamont, Owen A. and Thaler, Richard H., Can the Market Add and Subtract? Mispricing in Tech Stock Carve-Outs (May 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8302. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=270372