Staff Reports
CDS and Equity Market Reactions to Stock Issuances in the U.S. Financial Industry: Evidence from the 2002-13 Period
November 2014 Number 697
Revised: December 2014
JEL classification: G01, G21, G32

Authors: Marcia Millon Cornett, Hamid Mehran, Kevin Pan, Minh Phan, and Chenyang Wei

We study seasoned equity issuances by financial and nonfinancial companies between 2002 and 2013. To assess the risk and valuation implications of these issuances, we conduct an event-study analysis using daily credit default swap (CDS) and stock market pricing data. The major findings of the paper are that equity prices do not react to new issues in the pre-crisis period, but react negatively in the crisis. CDS prices respond to new, default-relevant information. Over the full sample period, cumulative abnormal CDS spreads drop in response to equity issuance announcements. The reactions are significantly stronger during the financial crisis when the federal government injected equity into financial institutions to ensure their viability. The market reacted to this by assessing significantly lower costs for default protection via credit default swaps on equity issue announcements. The evidence indicates that single-name CDS based on financial firms’ default probabilities are potentially useful for private investors and regulators.

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