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Keywords:

  • IPOs;
  • long run returns;
  • market timing

Abstract:  In this paper we examine a comprehensive set of 2,499 UK IPOs launched between mid-1975 and the end of 2004. We find compelling evidence of long run under-performance that persists for between 36 and 60 months post-flotation, depending on the precise method chosen to measure abnormal returns. Following Schultz (2003), we ask whether our results are consistent with ‘pseudo-timing’. Equally-weighted returns in calendar time provide further evidence of under-performance, a result that favours the Loughran and Ritter (2000) behavioural timing hypothesis rather than the Schultz (2003) pseudo-timing hypothesis. However, we show that this under-performance is concentrated in AIM and USM stocks. When we measure value-weighted returns in calendar time we find that abnormal returns are not significantly different from zero. Further analysis shows that, consistent with the findings of other studies, IPO under-performance is concentrated in smaller firms.