Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices
We document a significant and negative effect of the change in a firm's leverage ratio on its stock prices. We find that the negative effect is stronger for firms that have higher leverage ratios, higher likelihood of default, and face more severe financial constraints. Moreover, firms with an increase in leverage ratio tend to have less future investment. These findings are consistent with Myers' (1977) debt overhang theory that an increase in leverage may lead to future underinvestment, thus reducing a firm's value.
Leverage change, Debt overhang, Capital structure
Corporate Finance | Portfolio and Security Analysis
Journal of Corporate Finance
Cai, Jie and ZHANG, Zhe.
Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices. (2011). Journal of Corporate Finance. 17, (3), 391-402. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/3126