This paper provides evidence that top managers have contrarian views on firm value. Managers' perceptions of fundamental value diverge systematically from market valuations, and perceived mispricing seems an important determinant of managers' decision making. Insider trading patterns shows that low valuation firms are regarded as undervalued by their own managers relative to high valuation firms. This finding is robust to controlling for noninformation motivated trading. Further evidence links managers' private portfolio decisions to changes in corporate capital structures, suggesting that managers try to actively time the market both in their private trades and in firm-level decisions.
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