Market Valuation of Anticipated Governance Changes: Evidence from Contentious Shareholder Meetings
60 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2016 Last revised: 14 Dec 2016
Date Written: July 1, 2016
We define annual shareholder meetings as contentious if one or more ballot items are likely to obtain sufficient shareholder votes to induce a firm to implement governance changes. Using a sample of almost 28,000 meetings between 2003 and 2012, we find that abnormal stock returns over the 40-day period prior to contentious meetings are significantly positive and higher than prior to non-contentious meetings. These higher abnormal returns persist after controlling for firm-specific news and proxies for risk factors and are more pronounced in firms with poor past performance. Our results are consistent with investors viewing an increase in the probability of shareholder vote-induced governance changes as value creating, on average.
Keywords: Shareholder votes, shareholder activism, disclosures, annual meetings, corporate governance
JEL Classification: G34, G38, J33, M12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation