Share Repurchases and Accounting Conservatism
Lobo, G. J., Robin, A., & Wu, K. (2019). Share repurchases and accounting conservatism. Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, 1-35.
Posted: 22 Jan 2019 Last revised: 5 Sep 2019
Date Written: January 18, 2019
The prior literature indicates that financial policy (e.g., payout policy) as well as accounting policy (e.g., conservatism) can be used to address incentive problems in firms but finds mixed evidence. We conjecture that stock repurchases, an increasingly popular form of payout, and conservatism are potential mechanisms to counter managerial propensity to engage in overinvestment using free cash flows. Consequently, we expect a negative relation between repurchases and conservatism as well as a stronger negative relation between these two mechanisms in firms with high levels of free cash flows. We find results consistent with these expectations. By contrast, we find a weaker negative relation between repurchases and conservatism when CEO tenure is higher, which confirms that more entrenched CEOs have less incentives to solve the overinvestment problem.
Keywords: Share repurchase, Accounting conservatism, Agency problem, Corporate governance
JEL Classification: D82, G14, G35, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation