Delisting Returns and their Effect on Accounting-Based Market Anomalies

Delisting Returns and their Effect on Accounting-Based Market Anomalies

Journal of Accounting and Economics.
2007, Vol. 43, Issue 2–3, Pages 341-368

We show that tests of market efficiency are sensitive to the inclusion of delisting firm-years. When included, trading strategy returns based on anomaly variables can increase (for strategies based on earnings, cash flows and the book-to-market ratio) or decrease (for a strategy based on accruals). This is due to the disproportionate number of delisting firm-years in the lowest decile of these variables. Delisting firm-years are most often excluded because the researcher does not correctly incorporate delisting returns, because delisting return data are missing or because other research design choices implicitly exclude them.