Date of Award

9-2010

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Management

First Advisor

Ben Branch

Second Advisor

Bing Liang

Third Advisor

Mila Getmansky Sherman

Keywords

Chapter 11 bankruptcy, distress investment, hedge fund, post bankruptcy performance, vulture investors

Subject Categories

Business | Economics | Finance and Financial Management

Abstract

Firms that emerged from Chapter 11 as public companies have tons of characteristics. The first essay analyzes their post bankruptcy performance, duration effect, and the quality of their projection information. While the sample's post bankruptcy performance does show improvement, their projections tend to be optimistic. Firms with shorter durations in Chapter 11generally achieve better performance than those with longer durations, in terms of Z-scores, but not in excess returns. Compared to firms that did not provide (complete) projection information, the sample firms generally exhibit better improvement, as measured by Z-scores and short term excess returns. The second essay tracks the holding period return in investing in bankrupt stocks using a buy-and-hold strategy. Holding period return using stock price alone cannot show the entire story, as when considering final distributions plus the stock price, we see a much severe loss. In the regression analysis, the results reveal that liquidity is always a key factor in explaining the returns. Profitability and information uncertainty plays a significant role in explaining the positive returns, while liquidity and (un)profitability are the two key issues in negative returns. In addition, the involvement of hedge funds does not show signs of better stock performance. The third essay explores the role hedge funds play as investors in bankrupt firms. The results show that their major contributions are to provide liquidity for and help the troubled firms improve their profitability. Compared the performances in post bankruptcy to pre-bankruptcy level, bankrupt firms with hedge funds involvement tend to be in better shape compared to the ones without any vulture investments, however, firms with hedge fund show comparable results with the ones with other vulture investors, such as private equities. In addition, the above improvements only appear in the short run, and the involvement of hedge funds does not guarantee a better stock performance. Therefore, hedge funds are more of financial players, rather than strategic players, as hedge funds do not help the troubled firms go through a systematic restructuring to achieve sustainable improvements.

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