Open-Market Repurchases, Firm Quality, And Discouraging Short Sellers

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W. Paul Spurlin


Discretionary Accruals, Stock Repurchase, Short Sales


Announcing an open-market repurchase (OMR) is presented as a potential tool for managers to discourage short selling in their firm’s stock.  Empirical testing determines the relation that abnormal short selling that follows an OMR announcement has with abnormal returns during the announcement period and announcing firm quality. Results show that post-announcement abnormal short sales decrease with positive abnormal returns during the OMR announcement period but that announcing firm quality is unrelated to the level of post-announcement abnormal short sales. Therefore, announcing an OMR may be an effective tool to discourage short sales in a firm’s stock independent of firm quality because abnormal returns around an OMR announcement tend to be positive and short sellers do not appear to distinguish among announcing firms based on firm quality. 


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