Empirical essays in corporate finance

Zatonova, Ekaterina A.

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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/43097
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-430970
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2017
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Theissen, Erik
Date of oral examination: 14 February 2017
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Finanzierung (Theissen)
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: G14; G24; G35,
Subject headings (SWD): Gewinnausschüttung , Unternehmen
Keywords (English): Analysts' dividend forecasts , Analysts' earnings forecasts , Payout policy , Earnings management , Information content of dividends , Event study , Investor Awareness , Payout Policy , Geography , 10-K Filings , Google Search Volume Index
Abstract: The objective of this thesis is threefold. First, we strive to understand whether managers pay attention to the specific thresholds when setting dividend payouts. We show empirically that managers indeed try to set dividends per share such that they exceed those from the previous quarter. However, they do not systematically beat analysts' forecasts. Second, I ask the question whether this observed managers' behavior is fully rational. Specifically, I look into the wealth effects of meeting or missing the dividend threshold targets. In doing so I pay special attention to confounding events and learn about the marginal information content of earnings and dividend surprises. My results demonstrate that only earnings news and not dividend news make market participants reconsider their stock price valuations. Thus, this study is in line with the Miller and Modigliani's vision on the firm value determinants. Lastly, I uncover a novel link between a firm's geographic dispersion and its payout policy. I argue that a firm's geographic dispersion is related to investor awareness of a firm; and that the latter in turn is related to a firm's payout policy. My empirical results are consistent with these arguments.

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