1.  Short Squeezes  (with Zhiqian Jiang, Baixiao Liu, and Wei Xu)

Financial Analysts Journal, forthcoming

Abstract: We investigate the prevalence and persistence of short squeezes and the corresponding economic consequences on the stocks being squeezed. Using daily short sale data, we provide evidence that a short squeeze on average subsides within seven trading days and can be driven by both the capital constraint of the short sellers and the short sale constraint of the underlying stocks. The risk of being squeezed is higher during major macroeconomic events. Further analyses reveal that squeezed stocks experience an increase in the demand for and the cost of borrowing the shares and in trading volume, idiosyncratic volatility, and abnormal returns.

Keywords: Short Selling, Short Squeeze, Short Sale Constraint, Price Reversal

JEL Codes: G12, G14

Presentations: Peking University*, Purdue University*, 2022  Southwestern  Finance  Association Annual Meeting

2Share Repurchases and Managerial Reference Points (with Nicholas Clarke and Dylan Norris)

The Financial Review, 2024, 59(1), 57

Abstract: Corporate repurchase activity increases as a firm’s current stock price declines in relation to the price  at  which  it  previously  repurchased  shares.  This  relation  holds  up  to  various  empirical  specifications and robustness tests. The effect weakens around stock splits, is asymmetric in stock gains and losses, and strengthens when prior repurchases are larger than the sample median. The results  suggest  a  behavioral  pattern  in  which  managers  use  prior  repurchase  prices  as  reference  points for current repurchases.

Keywords: Reference Point, Stock Repurchases, Behavioral Finance 

JEL Codes: G32, G41

Presentations: 2021 Academy of Behavioral Finance & Economics Annual Meeting*, Middle Tennessee State University*, 2021 Southern Finance Association Annual Meeting*, 2022  Southwestern  Finance  Association Annual Meeting*, Illinois State University*, University of Alabama in Huntsville*

3.  The Effect of Short Sale Restrictions on Corporate Managers (with Baixiao Liu and John McConnell)

Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 2023, 16(11), 486

Abstract: This paper studies the effect of short selling on corporate managers from 2002 through 2010. We examine how the exemption of short sale uptick tests due to the Regulation SHO pilot program affects managers’ decisions to abandon value-reducing acquisition attempts. We find that when deciding whether to abandon value-reducing acquisition attempts during the program, managers of pilot firms, whose stocks are less subject to short selling impediments, are more sensitive to stock price changes than managers of nonpilot firms. We find no difference in managers’ sensitivity prior to nor post SHO. These results indicate that, despite their dislike of short sellers, managers believe that the level of informativeness from capital markets is superior when short sellers are less impeded.

Keywords: Short Sale Restrictions, Short Selling, Regulation SHO, Pilot Program

JEL Codes: G14, G18, G30, G34

Working Papers

4Analysts' Accuracy Following an Increase in Uncertainty: Evidence From the Art Market (with Spencer Barnes and Brandon Mendez)

Revise and Resubmit, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

Abstract: This study utilizes the art market as an exogenous setting to explore how an increase in price uncertainty (i.e., the death of an artist) impacts the accuracy and forecast error of analysts' estimates. We find that in the year following an artist's death, analysts' accuracy decreases by 14% and their forecast error increases by 11%. Additional analysis indicates that the effect is due to a decrease in the estimation range, an increase in the forecast bias of analysts, and an increase in the price volatility of the artwork. These findings suggest that analysts perform poorly following an increase in uncertainty which is pertinent for asset markets.

Keywords: Price Uncertainty, Alternative Assets, Cultural Finance

JEL Codes: G11, G14, Z11

Presentations: 2022  Southwestern  Finance  Association Annual Meeting*, 2021 Harvard Rising Scholars Conference*, 2021 Ph.D. Project Finance & Economics Doctoral Students Association Conference at the American Finance Association Conference*

5.  Does Cultural Similarity Affect Managerial Learning? Evidence From Corporate Acquisitions?

Abstract: This study examines whether the corporate cultural similarity between a target and an acquiring firm influences the acquiring managers’ decision to abandon a corporate acquisition attempt conditional on the acquiring firm's stock price reaction at the announcement of the deal. The findings suggest that higher cultural similarity decreases the propensity of acquiring managers to listen to the stock market. We use the inclusion in the annual list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens as an exogenous shock to establish a causal link. We interpret the findings to imply that acquiring managers are subject to a confirmatory bias that leads them to give an overly optimistic valuation to target firms that share similar corporate culture. Therefore, cultural similarity between a target and an acquiring firm could have detrimental effects on the acquiring firm.

Keywords: Corporate Acquisition, Corporate Similarity, Managerial Learning 

JEL Codes: G30, G32, G34, M14

Presentations: Cal State Fullerton, Cornerstone Research, 2021 Eastern Finance Association Annual Meeting, Miami University, Florida State University, Ohio University, University of Richmond

6.  Do Large Share Repurchases Attract Activist Investors? (with Don Autore, Nicholas Clarke, and Matthew Gustafson)

Abstract: Firms that make large open-market share repurchases are more frequent targets of activist investors. In a sample of about 35,000 firm-years during 2005-2018, large repurchases (over 10% of shares outstanding) are associated with a 37% greater likelihood that the repurchasing firm is the target of an activist investor in the following year, all else equal. This effect is driven by firms with market capitalizations under $2.5 billion, for which there is a 57% increased likelihood. This association is not mechanically driven by a reduced share count. The targeted firms are poor performers but experience exceptionally positive stock performance while the activist is present. Like other activist events, large-repurchase-linked activist engagements are associated with an increased likelihood of being acquired or experiencing CEO turnover. We conjecture that activists may target large repurchasers because the sharply reduced share count makes it cheaper to acquire a given ownership stake in the firm.

Keywords: Share Repurchases, Activist Investors

JEL Codes: G32, G35

Presentations: 2023 Financial Management Association Annual Meeting*, 2023 Southern Finance Association Annual Meeting*

7Public Outcry and Art Prices (with Spencer Barnes and Brandon Mendez)

Abstract: This paper examines the influence of public outcry on art prices. Using the near universe of United States art sales at premier auction houses which accounts for 75% of the overall art market, we find that the Black Lives Matter movement increased prices of artwork by Black artists by 64%. By decomposing the effect between the three parties engaged in the transaction, we find evidence that auction houses influenced these prices more than either sellers or buyers by increasing their pre-sale price estimates.

Keywords: Art, Black Lives Matter, Auctioneers

JEL Codes: G02, G11, Z11

Presentations: 2024 Southwestern  Finance  Association Annual Meeting*