HANDBOOK OF CORPORATE FINANCE: EMPIRICAL CORPORATE FINANCE, Vol. 1, B. E. Eckbo, ed., Chapter 6, pp. 233-373, Elsevier/North-Holland Handbook of Finance Series, 2007
168 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2005 Last revised: 3 May 2009
This essay surveys the extant literature and adds to the empirical evidence on issuance activity,flotation costs, and valuation effects of security offerings. We focus primarily on public offerings of equity for cash, although we also review and present new evidence on debt offerings and private placements. The essay has four major parts: (1) We review aggregate issue activity in exchange listed securities from 1980 through 2004. Following the IPO, only about one-half of the publicly traded firms undertake a public security offering of any type, and only about one-quarter undertake a SEO. Thus, SEOs are relatively rare, which is consistent with adverse selection costs being an important consideration when raising cash externally. (2) We review the evidence on direct issue costs across security types and flotation methods, including the more recent SEO underpricing phenomenon. A large number of studies provide evidence on the determinants of underwriter compensation, and confirm the importance of variables capturing information asymmetries and underwriter competition. (3) We survey and interpret the valuation effects of security issue announcements. In the period since the Eckbo and Masulis (1995) survey, many studies examining announcement-period stock returns have focused on the effects of flotation method choice and foreign offerings. The well-known negative average announcement effect observed for U.S. SEOs appears to be a somewhat U.S.-specific phenomenon. (4) We review and extend evidence on the performance of issuing firms in the five year post-issue period. The literature proposes either a risk based-explanation or a behavioral explanation for the phenomenon of low average realized returns following IPOs and SEOs. Standard factor model regressions fail to reject the null that the low average returns are commensurate with issuers' risk exposures. Recent theoretical developments suggest that lower risk levels following equity issues may be linked to issuers' investment activity, a promising direction for future research.
Keywords: Security offering, IPO, SEO, debt offer, flotation method, underwriting, rights offer, private placement, shelf registration, adverse selection, announcement returns, long run performance
JEL Classification: G21, G24, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation