The Information Content of Stock Split Announcements: Do Options Matter?

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We provide a new test of the informational efficiency of trading in stock options in the context of stock split announcements. These announcements tend to be associated with positive abnormal returns. Our traditional event study results show abnormal returns that are significantly lower for optioned than non-optioned stocks, whether traded on the NYSE, Amex, or Nasdaq. After controlling for market returns, capitalization, book-to-market ratio, and trading volume, we find that the abnormal returns are significantly lower for NYSE/Amex optioned than non-optioned stocks. Although the results for Nasdaq stocks are not as clear, the overall effects tend to be lower after optioning. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the prices of optioned stocks embody more information, diminishing the impact of the stock split announcement. They provide new evidence of the beneficial effects of options on their underlying stocks.



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