In this paper the proposition is tested that stock market reaction to a dividend change is a function of its information content. A multiple regression model is formulated to identify the factors that contribute significantly to the capital loss suffered by shareholders when firms decide to cut/omit dividends. Results indicate that, in conformity with the information content hypothesis, the announcement period capital loss induced by a dividend deduction significantly depends on the percentage change in dividends, the size and risk of the firm, and the price performance of the firm's stock in the immediately preceding period. The results further reveal that (1) simultaneous announcements of poor earnings cause larger capital losses; (2) prior announcements of loss/lower earnings, strikes, etc. attenuate the negative impact of dividend cuts; (3) managerial reassurances that the dividend reduction is growth‐motivated produces a weakly favorable effect, and (4) institution of stock dividends concurrently with the dividend cut significantly reduces the negative valuation effect. It is concluded from the evidence that stock market reaction to managerial signals is a function of the perceived costs associated with these signals.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Financial Research|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1988|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes