Asymmetric Inefficiency in the Market Response to Non-earnings 8-K Information

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationContemporary Accounting Research
Online published9 Jan 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 9 Jan 2022

Abstract

This paper examines the pricing efficiency of 8-K filings for events other than earnings announcements. Since these filings provide timely information that is material to investors and explain variations in quarterly returns to a degree similar to other disclosures, understanding how the stock price absorbs their information is important for investors, regulators, and academics. By testing the statistical correlation between the immediate stock returns in response to these filings and subsequent stock returns before, during, and after the forthcoming earnings announcement, we find evidence of investor overreaction to good news but underreaction to bad news in the immediate window. Essentially, the price increases too much for good news but fails to decrease enough for bad news, resulting in overpricing for both. Most of the correction for this overpricing occurs in the period leading up to the forthcoming earnings announcement, while the rest happens during the announcement. Drawing on Miller (1977), we further illustrate that, in the presence of short-sale constraints, increase in investor disagreement spurred by interpretation difficulty is the most likely mechanism for the observed overpricing. We fail to find sufficient evidence in support of alternative mechanisms, including managerial disclosure strategies, analyst optimistic bias, and retail investor participation. This asymmetric mispricing for non-earnings 8-Ks contrasts with the symmetric mispricing commonly found for other types of disclosures, where investors either systematically underreact or overreact to public information. Our results could broadly speak to the pricing of any public information that is inherently difficult to interpret.

Research Area(s)

  • 8-K filings, disagreement, inefficiency, interpretation difficulty, overpricing, short-sale constraints