PhD Candidate in Finance

gxu_portrait_21
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Finance at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and a visiting scholar at Stern School of Business, at NYU. I am currently on the job market. You can download here my Job Market Paper.

I will be available for interviews at the 2019 ASSA meetings in Atlanta.

Fields:
Corporate Finance, Behavioral Finance

Contact:
Email: guosong.xu@whu.edu
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Chair of Corporate Finance
Burgplatz 2, 56179 Vallendar
Germany

SSRN  Download CV


Publications:

“She Is Mine”: Determinants and Value Effects of Early Announcements in Takeovers (with NIHAT AKTAS and BURCIN YURTOGLU)
Journal of Corporate Finance, 2018, 50: 180-202
Best AFFI 2017 Conference Paper; Media coverage: Les Echos 

Some M&A bids are voluntarily disclosed by the bidders prior to the signature of a definitive agreement. We propose an “announce-to-signal” explanation to these early announcements: They allow bidders to signal to target shareholders high synergies so as to overcome negotiation frictions and improve success rates. We show that negotiation frictions predict earlier announcements. Early announced transactions are associated with higher expected synergies, offer premium, completion rates, and public competition.

Working Papers:

Friends at WSJ: Journalist Connections, News Tone, and Stock Returns
Job Market Paper

When firms are connected to Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporters, they receive markedly more favorable news coverage upon an M&A event and better market reactions to these mergers. The effect on the financial market is larger for the deals featured on the front page of the WSJ. For identification, I instrument the connected coverage with the reporters’ turnover and find similar results. Furthermore, using Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of the WSJ as an exogenous shock to journalistic independence, I show that firms previously connected to Mr. Murdoch receive better coverage and more positive stock returns after the ownership change.

Presentations: EFA (Doctoral Tutorial), Helsinki Finance Summit, Humboldt University, Paris December Finance Meeting

Are Market Reactions to M&As Biased by Overextrapolation of Salient News?
with ELIEZER FICH from Drexel University

We find that earnings surprises released in a takeover target’s industry hours before the M&A announcement correlate with the acquirers’ M&A announcement return, but not with the returns to the bidder and target peer firms. A week after the M&A announcement, acquirers exhibit a significant stock price reversal. We cannot reconcile these findings with rational Bayesian updating, information transmission, or strategic timing theories. The evidence that salient events affect investors’ M&A valuations, supports behavioral theories predicting asset pricing distortions due to cognitive biases.

Presentations:  ASSA Atlanta, City University of Hong Kong, CKGSB, Erasmus University, ESSEC, Frankfurt School of Finance, Humboldt University, Louisiana State University, Peking University, University of Lille II, Research in Behavioral Finance Conference, University of Missouri, UNLV

What Drives the Takeover Process? New Evidence from the Inner Workings of Internal M&A Teams
with NIHAT AKTAS, AUDRA BOONE, ALEXANDER WITKOWSKI and BURCIN YURTOGLU from WHU and Texas Christian University
Media coverage: Finanzmeinungen 

Using surveys from 65 largest firms from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, we find a growing reliance on the firm’s own employees for implementing takeover strategies by the respondents. Firms are proactive in deal initiation, such that they rely more on their internal analysis to generate investment ideas and less on investment banks. Deals negotiated by CEOs are on average of better quality in terms of announcement returns. Moreover, M&A team factors can explain approximately 45% of the acquirer fixed effects in announcement return regressions.

Presentations: AFFI 2018, Audencia Business School

Foreign Bribery and Takeovers: International Evidence

I find that the implementations of anti-bribery laws, which criminalize acquirers for foreign bribery transactions, reduce aggregate cross-border takeovers by 30%, acquirers’ gains by over half, and bid premium by 10%. These findings support the efficient side-payment model, which predicts a positive relation between bribery and transaction value.

Presentations:  AFFI 2016, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, FMA (Doctoral Student Consortium), NYU Stern, Spring Meeting of Young Economists, WHU

Irreversible Investment under Uncertainty: Do Firm Boundaries Matter?
with JOHNSON MO from NYU Stern

Studying the oil exploration and production industry, we find that vertically integrated producers cut investments significantly more than standalone producers, by up to 11%, in years of high output price uncertainty. This finding is consistent with a real option model of investment, where a higher level of capital irreversibility amplifies the uncertainty effects on real investment.

Presentations:  Causal Inference Workshop at Northwestern University, NYU Stern