Are executive stock option exercises driven by private information?

Are executive stock option exercises driven by private information? In this study, we investigate the extent to which exercise of executive stock options is based upon private information. Contrary to popular belief, we find that shares are held more than 30 days following over a quarter of options exercised. Partitioning the data, we find weak evidence that decisions to exercise and sell immediately are prompted by bad news and stronger evidence that decisions to exercise and hold for at least 30 days are prompted by good news. Enhancing the power of our tests by considering several factors important to exercise decisions, we find that the higher the opportunity costs of early exercise as measured by the time-value of options, the greater the trading profits to executives. We also find that the greater the disguise provided by incentives to diversify and consume as measured by the depth of options in the money, the greater the trading profits to executives who exercise and sell. Turning to non-exercise decisions, we find that a strategy of holding options rather than shares to exploit good news yields positive abnormal returns consistent with theoretical predictions in the absence of dividends. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Are executive stock option exercises driven by private information?

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Business and Management; Accounting/Auditing; Corporate Finance; Public Finance
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-007-9050-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

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