Analyst Coverage and the Cost of Raising Equity Capital: Evidence from Underpricing of Seasoned Equity Offerings
57 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2003
Date Written: August 2007
There is limited direct evidence on the impact of analyst coverage on the cost of capital. In this paper, we hypothesize that the amount and nature of analyst coverage can reduce information asymmetry among investors and thus lower the cost of raising equity capital. We investigate the effect of analyst coverage on the underpricing of seasoned equity offerings (SEOs), which is a substantial cost of issuing new shares. Based on 4,766 SEOs in the period 1984-2000, our results suggest that more analyst coverage is associated with lower SEO underpricing. Compared with firms without analyst coverage, firms with the median level of analyst coverage - three analysts - have a 1.19% lower SEO underpricing, a relative decrease of 38%. This effect is robust to controlling for other factors affecting SEO underpricing. We also examine additional attributes of analyst coverage and find that firms followed by analysts working for the lead underwriter, with a reputation for superior ability, or with lower forecast dispersion have incrementally lower SEO underpricing.
Keywords: Analyst coverage, information asymmetry, cost of capital, seasoned equity offering
JEL Classification: G29, G24, G32
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