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Keywords:

  • IPOs;
  • prospectus;
  • performance
  • G3/G32

Abstract

Initial public offerings underperform in the long run; however, there is very little evidence on their cross-sectional variation. Using a random sample of IPOs from 1987 through 1991 and gathering their prospectus data, we show that financial and operating characteristics as well as offering characteristics have a limited relation with the one-year stock returns. We also find that firms that subsequently reissue equity or merge outperform their matched-firm benchmarks over three years. Underperformance is most severe for the smaller and younger firms. We find that prospectus information is more useful to predict survival/failure compared to subsequent equity offerings or acquisitions.