IPO Underpricing as Analyst Payoff

From the December issue of the Journal of Finance:

We report that initial public offering (IPO) underpricing is positively related to analyst coverage by the lead underwriter and to the presence of an all-star analyst on the research staff of the lead underwriter. These findings are robust to controls for other determinants of underpricing and to controls for the endogeneity of underpricing and analyst coverage. In addition, we find that the probability of switching underwriters between IPO and seasoned equity offering is negatively related to the unexpected amount of post-IPO analyst coverage. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that underpricing is, in part, compensation for expected post-IPO analyst coverage from highly ranked analysts.

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