Essays on the corporate bond market

2017-02-21T23:12:57Z (GMT) by Wei, Xiaoting
This thesis investigates the impact of three corporate events on corporate bond prices in the U.S. Specifically, the first empirical essay examines whether bond prices exhibit delayed reactions to earnings announcements. The second essay examines whether bond prices react to equity analysts’ recommendation revisions and the third essay examines whether bond prices react to unexpected dividend changes. The results from the first essay show that the bond price reactions to earnings news are asymmetric, with greater reactions following negative earnings surprises than following positive earnings surprises. This is consistent with the Black–Scholes (1973) bond pricing model. Bond price reactions are also reported to be affected by bond risk. Because issuers of riskier bonds are more likely to face default, earnings news is reported to be more pertinent to the value of riskier bonds. The second essay reports similar asymmetric bond price reactions. The bond price reactions appear to be directed more towards recommendation downgrades than towards upgrades. In addition, riskier bonds tend to exhibit stronger reactions to recommendation revisions than safer bonds do. The third essay documents significant and negative bond price reactions to dividend cuts and the significant reactions of speculative-grade (riskier) bonds to dividend changes. The bond price changes are in the same direction as the dividend changes are, which supports the dividend information content hypothesis rather than the wealth expropriation hypothesis, which would predict opposite bond price reactions.