We examine the long‐run performance of the common stock of firms following calls of both straight and convertible debt from 1945 to 1995. Using a sample of 718 calls of straight debt, we find an average abnormal return in the five years following the call of between 0.16% and 0.34% per month, which compounds to an economically and statistically significant 11% to 22% over the five‐year period. This evidence of overperformance following calls shows a distinct symmetry between the straight debt and equity markets. Issues of debt and equity are both followed by long‐term underperformance, whereas stock repurchases and debt calls are both followed by long‐run overperformance. For our sample of 713 calls of convertible debt, we find little systematic evidence of abnormal performance following the call. Some researchers suggest that calls of convertible debt provide negative signals to the market. Our results provide no support for this claim. In contrast, our evidence of marginal positive long‐run returns provides weak support for the model that calls of convertible debt signal the realization of profitable investment options, and for the price pressure hypothesis.
The Journal of Financial Research – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2003
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