Research

B. Healy, C. O'Sullivan: Dividend capture returns: anomaly or risk premium? Evidence from the equity options markets Information and Equity Premium Predictability

February 20, 2019

In the run-up to the ex-dividend day a measure based on option implied dividends predicts ex-day abnormal stock returns. These expected ex-dividend day returns increase on stocks where it is less worthwhile to capture the dividend, stocks that are less liquid, stocks with high idiosyncratic risk, and stocks that have experienced a build up in selling pressure. The evidence from the options markets suggests the positive abnormal ex-day returns, net of transactions costs, achieved by institutions skilled in trading are a risk premium for their role in providing liquidity to non-informational stock traders.