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Non-public contracts, cash flows and firm value: the case of Lockheed

Shreesh Deshpande (School of Business Administration, University of San Diego, San Diego, California, USA)
Vijay Jog (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

Review of Accounting and Finance

ISSN: 1475-7702

Article publication date: 5 August 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine a large, non-disclosed production contract awarded to Lockheed Corp. in the context of a trade-off between a contractually required non-disclosure clause and the need (as a publicly traded firm) to disclose material information to its shareholders. This production contract generated significant cash flows to the firm as evidenced by growth in its earnings. However, the existence of the production contract and its contribution to Lockheed’s earnings, was not disclosed by the firm to shareholders and potential investors while the production contract was being executed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the market reaction to several key contract events which were not disclosed at the time they occurred, in compliance with the contractually required non-disclosure clause.

Findings

A statistically significant stock price reaction around the time of the award of this non-public contract, indicative of trading by some capital market participants using non-public information was documented.

Originality/value

Because similar large non-public contracts funded by the government are common in the industrial economy, we conclude by discussing implications for organizational structure, firm’s cost of capital, equity-based compensation and market efficiency.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Robert Bowen, Tom Copeland, Thomas Ironstone, Ryan McKeon, Marko Svetina, Nikhil Varaiya and Pengcheng Zhu for their comments. The authors also thank Janis Zaima (Editor) and the anonymous referees for suggestions that have greatly improved the paper. The usual disclaimer applies.

Citation

Deshpande, S. and Jog, V. (2014), "Non-public contracts, cash flows and firm value: the case of Lockheed", Review of Accounting and Finance, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 274-290. https://doi.org/10.1108/RAF-03-2013-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited