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Firm uncertainty and corporate policies: The role of stock return skewness

John C. Easterwood, Bradley S. Paye and Yutong Xie

Journal of Corporate Finance, 2021, vol. 69, issue C

Abstract: We study the interaction between firm uncertainty and corporate policies, emphasizing the role of skewness in the distribution of performance shocks reflected in stock returns. Conditional on volatility and other characteristics, firms with more negatively skewed performance shocks adopt more conservative policies, including greater cash holdings, a lower likelihood of dividend payments and increases in payout levels, and less financial leverage. These relationships are significant and robust for asymmetry proxies constructed from stock return innovations, in contrast to results for measures based on accounting performance shocks. This disparity highlights the importance of asymmetries in long-run performance shocks for corporate policy choices.

Keywords: Corporate policies; Cash flow news; Volatility; Skewness; Asymmetric distributions; Leverage; Cash holdings; Payout; Dividends (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2021.102032

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