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Analysts and corporate liquidity policy

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This paper examines how equity analysts' roles as information intermediaries and monitors affect corporate liquidity policy and its associated value of cash, providing new evidence that analysts have a direct

This paper examines how equity analysts' roles as information intermediaries and monitors affect corporate liquidity policy and its associated value of cash, providing new evidence that analysts have a direct impact on corporate liquidity policy. Greater analyst coverage (1) reduces information asymmetry between a firm and outside shareholders and (2) enhances the monitoring process. Consistent with these arguments, analyst coverage increases the value of cash, thereby allowing firms to hold more cash. The cash-to-assets ratio increases by 5.2 percentage points when moving from the bottom analyst-coverage decile to the top decile. The marginal value of $1 of corporate cash holdings is $0.93 for the bottom analyst-coverage decile and $1.83 for the top decile. The positive effects remain robust after a battery of endogeneity checks. I also perform tests employing a unique dataset that consists of public and private firms, as well as a dataset that consists of public firms that have gone private. A public firm with analyst coverage can hold approximately 8% more cash than its private counterpart. These findings constitute new evidence on the real effect of analyst coverage.

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  • 2012