By Cydney Posner
After a significant financial restatement, a company's reputation (and share price) will usually take a hit. This article from the WSJ discusses a series of typical confidence- and share-boosting actions taken by companies post-restatement. According to researchers cited in the article, each of the actions leads to an average share price increase of 2%.
As reported in the article, companies lose more than a quarter of their market value, on average, following a financial restatement or fraud. However, researchers at Stanford and Emory identified ten actions that, taken in the year following the restatement, each increased share price by 2% on average. The study examined 10,000 news releases following 94 financial restatements from 1997 to 2006, excluding bankruptcies. According to the article, the study "found companies most often took less-costly actions, such as making charitable donations or offering warranty extensions. The next most common efforts included corporate restructuring and executive reshuffling. Expensive efforts to repair relationships with investors, such as share repurchases and special dividends, were the least common but resulted in the best improvement in share price— more than 3%." According to the researchers, "after one year, firms that are aggressive in taking most of these actions have more or less restored their reputations." Other helpful steps taken by companies following restatements noted by in the article include improving corporate governance and internal audit, commencing new marketing campaigns, rebuilding investor and supplier relationships and resolving litigation.