Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hanley & Hoberg on Underpricing of IPOs

Litigation Risk, Strategic Disclosure and the Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings, by Kathleen Weiss Hanley, Federal Reserve Board, and Gerard Hoberg, University of Maryland - Department of Finance, was recently posted on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Using word content analysis on the time-series of IPO prospectuses, we find evidence that issuers trade off underpricing and strategic disclosure as potential hedges against litigation risk. This tradeoff explains a significant fraction of the variation in prospectus revision patterns, IPO underpricing, the partial adjustment phenomenon, and litigation outcomes. We find that strong disclosure is an effective hedge against all lawsuits. Underpricing, however, is an effective hedge only against the incidence of Section 11 lawsuits, those lawsuits which are most damaging to the underwriter. Underwriters who fail to adequately hedge litigation risk experience economically large penalties including loss of market share.

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