Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Paper

First Advisor

Frank W. Bacon, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to test whether the investor can make an above normal return by relying on public information impounded in a stock split announcement. Using risk adjusted event study methodology, this study tests "how" and "when" public announcements of forward and reverse stock splits affect stock price. Stock split announcement samples include 38 two for one, 39 three for two, and 10 reverse splits. A total o f 36,714 observations for the announcement samples and the corresponding S&P 500 stock index were analyzed using standard risk adjusted event study methodology. Results suggest that the firms' public stock split announcements did not affect stock price on the announcement day. Rather, for the two for one and three for two forward split samples, stock price exhibited a significant positive reaction up to 27 days prior to the announcement. For the reverse split sample, stock price exhibited a significant negative reaction up to 30 days prior to the announcement. Results support the semi-strong form efficient market hypothesis since stock prices adjust so fast to public information that no investor can earn an above normal return by trading on the announcement day. Investors greet forward stock split announcement with a positive sign, whereas they view reverse splits as bad news. Management may be using stock splits to adjust stock price to a more marketable range, downward with forward and upward for reverse splits. Evidence here suggests signs of insider trading activity up to twenty-seven days prior to the announcement of the stock split.



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