Stockholder and Bondholder Wealth Effects of CEO Incentive Grants
34 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2006
Date Written: August 2006
We examine stock and bond price reactions to first time grants of equity compensation to CEOs. For firms granting options and/or restricted stock to their CEOs for the first time during the period 1992 to 2004, we find large positive stock price reactions and large negative bond price reactions. The negative bondholder reactions are significantly larger when the CEO has little or no prior equity ownership and significantly smaller for firms with weak shareholder rights (greater managerial power). We establish links between the stock and bond price reactions and the incentive characteristics of the grants. We find that stock price reactions decrease in CEO pay-performance sensitivity (delta) and increase in the sensitivity of CEO wealth to stock volatility (vega). In contrast, we find that bondholder reactions increase in delta and decrease in vega when the CEO has little or no equity ownership prior to the grant.
Keywords: Equity-based compensation, options, restricted stock, CEO incentives
JEL Classification: G12, G30, G32, G34, J33
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