Discounting and Underpricing in Seasoned Equity Offerings
Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), 2003, 69, 285-323
Posted: 19 Sep 2002 Last revised: 5 Sep 2013
Discounting and underpricing spread across most seasoned equity offers in the 1990s and were four to five times higher than in earlier years - particularly for riskier and more difficult to market offers, which were more prevalent. Analyses suggest that expected discounting is a cost of uncertainty about firm value, marketing new shares, and acquiring information that raises the offer price. Stockholders appear to recognize this as they incorporate predictable discounting in stock prices when equity offers are first announced. The surprise component of discounting, which reflects the lead bank's final adjustment to the offer price after the close of trading the night before the offer, releases information that often causes economically large swings in firm value on the offer day. The evidence points to disparities between the issuer's closing price and the price suggested in the lead bank's final order book as a primary source of information. The discount surprise appears to be an effective mechanism used by lead banks to update capital suppliers with that eleventh hour information before they commit their funds.
Keywords: Underwriters, Seasoned public offerings, Investment banking, Underpricing
JEL Classification: G32, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation