Previous studies offer a mixed understanding of the economic role of stock repurchases. This paper investigates three key economic motivations-mispricing, disgorging free cash flow, and increasing leverage-by evaluating cross-sectional differences in both the initial market reaction and long-run performance. The initial reaction provides some support for the mispricing story. However, subsequente arnings-relatedi nformations hocks suggest that the initial market reaction is incomplete and that long-run performance may be informative. The long-horizon return evidence is most consistent with the mispricing hypothesis and, to some degree, the free cash flow hypothesis. We find little support for the leverage hypothesis.
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 39(3), 461-479