Do Insiders Manipulate Earnings When They Sell Their Shares in an Initial Public Offering?

Do Insiders Manipulate Earnings When They Sell Their Shares in an Initial Public Offering? ABSTRACT In this article we examine whether insider share selling in an initial public offering (IPO) influences R&D expenditures. Insiders (managers and venture capitalists) who sell their pre‐offering shareholdings might try to increase the IPO offer price (1) by overinvesting in R&D to signal the firm's prospects (the signaling hypothesis) or (2) by underinvesting in R&D to increase current reported earnings (the earnings fixation hypothesis). We find that, for a sample of 243 IPOs from 1986 to 1990, change in R&D spending in the year of the IPO is negatively related to managerial selling. Because reductions in R&D spending increase current earnings at the expense of future earnings, our evidence suggests that managers believe that investors place more emphasis on current earnings and less emphasis on R&D and therefore spend less on R&D. We also document a positive association between discretionary current accruals in the offering year and managerial selling, suggesting that selling managers manipulate accruals as well. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting Research Wiley

Do Insiders Manipulate Earnings When They Sell Their Shares in an Initial Public Offering?

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0021-8456
eISSN
1475-679X
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1475-679x.2004.00161.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT In this article we examine whether insider share selling in an initial public offering (IPO) influences R&D expenditures. Insiders (managers and venture capitalists) who sell their pre‐offering shareholdings might try to increase the IPO offer price (1) by overinvesting in R&D to signal the firm's prospects (the signaling hypothesis) or (2) by underinvesting in R&D to increase current reported earnings (the earnings fixation hypothesis). We find that, for a sample of 243 IPOs from 1986 to 1990, change in R&D spending in the year of the IPO is negatively related to managerial selling. Because reductions in R&D spending increase current earnings at the expense of future earnings, our evidence suggests that managers believe that investors place more emphasis on current earnings and less emphasis on R&D and therefore spend less on R&D. We also document a positive association between discretionary current accruals in the offering year and managerial selling, suggesting that selling managers manipulate accruals as well.

Journal

Journal of Accounting ResearchWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2005

References

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