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Stock repurchases and executive compensation contract design: The role of earnings per share performance conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2011
JournalThe Accounting Review
Journal number2
Volume86
Number of pages31
Pages703-733
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We examine the link between firms’ stock repurchase activity and the presence of earnings per share (EPS) performance conditions in executive compensation contracts. Findings reveal a strong positive association between repurchases and EPS-contingent compensation arrangements. Further analysis suggests net benefits to shareholders from this association. Specifically, repurchasers experience larger increases in total payouts; the positive association between repurchases and cash performance is more pronounced for firms with EPS targets in the presence of surplus cash; undervalued firms with EPS targets are more likely to signal mispricing through a repurchase; and repurchasers with EPS conditions are associated with lower abnormal accruals. We find no evidence that EPS-driven repurchases impose costs on shareholders in the form of investment myopia.