We examine how the market reacts to announcements of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) by well-performing acquirers and evaluate the results in light of three hypotheses: 1) managerial ability, 2) empire building, and 3) chief executive officer (CEO) overconfidence. Our results indicate that an empire-building motive drives the relationship between past superior operating performance and M&A announcements. Long-term operating performance drops significantly for acquiring firms with past superior operating performance. Our evidence also indicates that the presence of insider directors helps to alleviate the negative perception of acquisitions made by firms with better operating performance or empire-building CEOs.