Reverse Stock Splits in the Biotechnology Industry: An Effectuation Approach

Using an effectuation theory lens, we study reverse stock splits in the biotech industry where significant uncertainty makes specific scenarios of success difficult to predict. We conjecture and find that, in contrast to other environments where there is less uncertainty, reverse stock splits in the biotech industry are followed by positive abnormal returns over the subsequent 1- to 12-months. Also consistent with our effectuation-based predictions, we find that these returns are positively related to the reverse split ratio, size, cash holding, and long-term debt, and negatively related to the market-to-book ratio and firm age. We also find that liquidity increases after a reverse stock split. These results suggest that the concept of effectuation theory is better suited to analyzing reverse stock splits in the biotech industry. 

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