Give it to me straight: how, when, and why managers disclose inside information about seasoned equity offerings
Managers’ control over the timing and content of information disclosure represents a significant strategic tool which they can use at their discretion. However, extant theoretical perspectives offer incongruent arguments and incompatible predictions about when and why managers would release inside information about their firms. More specifically, agency theory and theories within competitive dynamics provide competing hypotheses about when and why managers would disclose inside information about their firms. In this study, I highlight how voluntary disclosure theory may help to coalesce these two theoretical perspectives. Voluntary disclosure theory predicts that managers will release inside information when managers perceive that the benefits outweigh the costs of doing so. Accordingly, I posit that competitive dynamics introduce the costs associated with disclosing information (i.e., proprietary costs) and that agency theory highlights the benefits associated with disclosing information. Examining the context of seasoned equity offerings (SEOs), I identify three ways managers can use information in SEO prospectuses. I hypothesize that competitive intensity increases proprietary costs that will reduce disclosure of inside information but will increase discussing the organization positively. I then hypothesize that capital market participants (e.g., security analysts and investors) may prefer managers to provide more, clearer, and positive information about the SEO and their firms. I find support for many of my hypotheses.