Corporate Bond Price Reactions to Dividend Changes
39 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2016 Last revised: 16 May 2017
Date Written: April 26, 2017
Employing an event study approach, we examine 5,574 bond return reactions to unexpected quarterly dividend change announcements in the U.S. corporate bond market over the period 2002–2014. Overall, we report a significant bond price reaction in the same direction as dividend changes, which supports the hypothesis that dividend changes signal future firm performance. We also find that the bond return reaction is more pronounced if the dividends are reduced than if they are increased. We document a wealth transfer effect when riskier bonds are issued by firms with a low cash ratio and are approaching maturity. These results still hold after we control for the financial crisis and dividend covenants and when we use alternative variables to capture the dividend surprise.
Keywords: corporate bond, dividend announcement, information content hypothesis, wealth transfer hypothesis
JEL Classification: G14, G35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation