The impact of debt covenants on earnings announcement returns

Akdoğu, Evrim and Atılgan, Yiğit (2021) The impact of debt covenants on earnings announcement returns. Applied Economics, 53 (50). pp. 5826-5842. ISSN 0003-6846 (Print) 1466-4283 (Online)

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We study the impact of debt covenants on earnings announcement returns, using event-study methodology, by creating 10 covenant groups and a covenant index. We find that during bad news, whether it stems from a bad earnings surprise based on analyst forecasts or a negative average market reaction, both the index and most covenant groups display a significantly negative impact on announcement returns. For good news, particularly when the market reaction is positive on average, we also observe a significantly positive effect from some covenant groups, but not the index. The strongest impact on returns comes mostly from debt-related covenants such as leverage tests, cross-default clause and debt issue restrictions. Finally, we also show that regardless of firm characteristics, risk measures or exposure to information asymmetry, most covenants have a negative impact on announcement returns for all firms when the news is bad. For the full sample and the good news subsample, however, we find that small, risky firms with high information asymmetry issues are rewarded by the market and vice versa.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: corporate governance; Debt covenant; earnings announcement; equity valuation
Divisions: Sabancı Business School
Depositing User: Evrim Akdoğu
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2022 21:39
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2022 21:39

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