Companies buy back stocks for a variety of reasons. One rationale is a key motive for a new study: Managers of undervalued firms use stock repurchases as a mechanism to signal firm value. Curiously, Finance Professor Stacey Jacobsen of SMU Cox and co-author Utpal Bhattacharya find a large number of firms announce share repurchases but do not actually follow through with the buyback. The stock market tends to view repurchase announcements as good news, according to its reaction.
In the U.S., shareholder voting and activism is increasingly used to influence firm policy. New research by SMU Cox Finance Chair Darius Miller and co-authors suggests that shareholder voting can be an effective governance mechanism in countries outside the U.S. "This is important," says Miller, "since in many countries outside the U.S., the need for governance is greatest." The authors set out to test shareholder activism in global markets in a first-of-its-kind, large-scale study. Prior to this paper, there was not any evidence on whether shareholder voting in other countries was effective or not.
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