Market reactions to dividends announcements and payouts. Empirical evidence from the Warsaw Stock Exchange

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Date: June 2017
From: Contemporary Economics(Vol. 11, Issue 2)
Publisher: University of Finance and Management in Warsaw
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,542 words
Lexile Measure: 1510L

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Abstract :

The main goal of this paper is the empirical examination of the Polish stock market reactions to dividend announcements and dividend payouts made by the companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE). The research sample comprises 56 companies (WIG index constituents) that announced dividend payments and completed the payout during 2013. In the analysis, event study methodology is employed including either calculating abnormal returns and cumulative abnormal returns around the event day or testing their statistical significance using parametric and nonparametric tests. The average cross-sectional abnormal return calculated for the entire sample is found to be significant on the dividend announcement day (t = 0, 0.86%) and on one day after (t = +1, 0.59%) at the 1% and 10% significance levels, respectively. The outcomes of the analysis conducted within the three distinguished subsamples are rather more diverse. In the subgroup of the first announced dividends (or dividends announced after a minimum one-year break), the significant average abnormal return is found on day t = +1(0.90%, 5% significance level), whereas in the case of the dividend decreases subsample, the significant average abnormal returns (at the 10% significance level) occur on days t = -4 (-1.44%) and t = +2 (-1.15%). The average abnormal return calculated within the subsample of dividend increases turns out to be positive and significant on day t = +1 (1.03%, 10% significance level). The results obtained for the average cumulative abnormal returns corroborate the findings reached for the average cross-sectional abnormal returns in the case of the first dividend and dividend increase subsamples. However, the average cross-sectional abnormal returns calculated within the eleven-day-long event window around the dividend payment day turn out to be statistically insignificant. The obtained results provide evidence that the Polish stock market reaction to dividend announcements is positive and immediate. However, the market does not significantly react to dividend payouts, which may lead to the conclusion that the WSE directly incorporates news on dividends into stock prices. Moreover, the reaction of the market for dividend announcements is consistent with the sign of the dividend change: dividend-increase (-decrease) announcements are interpreted as a positive (negative) signal by the investors. Such results support both the informational content of the dividend hypothesis and the dividend signaling hypothesis. Considering that the observed abnormal market behavior disappears within two days at most after the announcement date, the results of the study can be useful for financial practitioners only with regard to short-term investment decisions. KEY WORDS: dividends, stock prices, event study, Warsaw Stock Exchange JEL Classification: G14

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A570046800