Can Social Media Inform Corporate Decisions? Evidence from Merger Withdrawals
78 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2022 Last revised: 9 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 9, 2023
This paper studies whether social media sentiment can predict merger withdrawals. We find that a standard deviation increase in social media sentiment after a merger announcement is associated with a 0.64 percentage points lower probability of withdrawal (16.6% of the average). This effect is unexplained by abnormal price reactions, traditional news, and analyst recommendations. Consistent with manager learning, the informativeness of social media strengthens after firms start corporate Twitter accounts. The informativeness is driven by longer acquisition-related tweets by fundamental investors, rather than memes and price trend tweets. These findings suggest that social media signals can be important for corporate decisions.
Keywords: Social Media, FinTech, Feedback Effects, Capital Allocation, M&A
JEL Classification: F30, F36, G38, Q50
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