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The stock market reaction to dividend announcements: A UK study of complex market signals

A.A. Lonie (University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)
G. Abeyratna (University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, and)
D.M. Power (University of Dundee, UK)
C.D. Sinclair (University of Dundee, UK)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 1 March 1996

Abstract

Investigates the stock market response to interactive dividend and earnings announcements by a sample of 620 UK companies over the period January to June 1991. First, examines the possibility that the response to a dividend announcement may be influenced by whether the dividend is being increased, decreased or left unchanged. US studies suggest that this may indeed be the case and acknowledge the role of the dividend as a signal to investors; dividend increases tend to be associated with positive abnormal returns, and dividend decreases tend to be associated with negative abnormal returns around the time of the dividend announcement. Second, recognizes that identifying a unique dividend information announcement effect is particularly difficult in the UK because UK dividends are almost invariably announced simultaneously with information about corporate earnings. Addresses this problem by focusing on those occasions when the signals associated with these announcements conflict with one another ‐ where dividends are increased and earnings decrease or vice versa. The influence of combinations of dividend and earnings news is found to be important in explaining the share price reaction on the announcement day.

Keywords

Citation

Lonie, A.A., Abeyratna, G., Power, D.M. and Sinclair, C.D. (1996), "The stock market reaction to dividend announcements: A UK study of complex market signals", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 32-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443589610106534

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited