Does acquirer cash level predict post-acquisition returns?

Does acquirer cash level predict post-acquisition returns? This paper investigates whether an acquirer’s pre-announcement cash level can predict post-acquisition returns. Harford (1999, Journal of Finance, 54, 1969–1997) shows that some cash-rich acquirers have lower announcement period returns than other acquirers, suggesting the market partially anticipates poor future performance. This paper shows that the acquirer’s cash level is also strongly and negatively predictive of post-acquisition returns, indicating that the announcement response is incomplete. Post-acquisition return on net operating assets (RNOA) is significantly decreasing in acquirer cash, suggesting that the market responds to subsequent poor operating performance as it is reported. Overall, these results are consistent with the market’s inattention to a less prominent accounting signal (acquirer cash) but attentiveness to a more prominent accounting signal (RNOA), as proposed by Hirshleifer and Teoh (2003, Journal of Accounting Economics, 36, 337–386). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Does acquirer cash level predict post-acquisition returns?

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Publisher
Springer Journals
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/s11142-007-9052-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper investigates whether an acquirer’s pre-announcement cash level can predict post-acquisition returns. Harford (1999, Journal of Finance, 54, 1969–1997) shows that some cash-rich acquirers have lower announcement period returns than other acquirers, suggesting the market partially anticipates poor future performance. This paper shows that the acquirer’s cash level is also strongly and negatively predictive of post-acquisition returns, indicating that the announcement response is incomplete. Post-acquisition return on net operating assets (RNOA) is significantly decreasing in acquirer cash, suggesting that the market responds to subsequent poor operating performance as it is reported. Overall, these results are consistent with the market’s inattention to a less prominent accounting signal (acquirer cash) but attentiveness to a more prominent accounting signal (RNOA), as proposed by Hirshleifer and Teoh (2003, Journal of Accounting Economics, 36, 337–386).

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 16, 2007

References

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