, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 1009-1045
Date: 04 Jan 2014

Evidence from impending bankrupt firms that long horizon institutional investors are informed about future firm value

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Abstract

A key assumption in many accounting and finance studies is that long horizon institutional investors are informed shareholders. Yet past empirical research finds no evidence that these institutions anticipate major corporate events, including earnings-based events. I find that long horizon institutions are better informed in that they sell more shares of impending bankrupt firms than of matched distress firms at least one quarter ahead of bankruptcy. Share sales are greater in impending bankrupt firms whose shareholders ultimately lose all of their equity. In additional analyses, I document greater share sales by long horizon institutions with supposedly superior information processing abilities and/or access to corporate management. Share sales are significantly less in the post Regulation FD era. Overall, my findings support the validity of the common assumption that long horizon institutions are informed. Regulation FD appears to mitigate (but not eliminate) their information advantage.