Does Backdating Explain the Stock Price Pattern Around Executive Stock Option Grants?
46 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2006
Extant studies document that stock returns are abnormally negative before executive option grants and abnormally positive afterward. We find that this return pattern is much weaker since August 29, 2002, when the SEC requirement that option grants must be reported within two business days took effect. Furthermore, in those cases in which grants are reported within one day of the grant date, the pattern has completely vanished, but it continues to exist for grants reported with longer lags, and its magnitude tends to increase with the reporting delay. We interpret these findings as evidence that most of the abnormal return pattern around option grants is attributable to backdating of option grant dates.
Keywords: Executive stock option grants, backdating
JEL Classification: J33, M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation