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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Hamed Khadivar, Finance

Three Essays on Informed Trading

Date & time
Thursday, April 8, 2021 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Daniela Ferrer



When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


How pervasive is informed trading around takeover rumors? This dissertation tackles this research question from three different following aspects.

First, we examine insider trading surrounding takeover rumors in a sample of publicly traded U.S. firms. We find that insider net-purchases increase within the year prior to the first publication of a takeover rumor, particularly when rumor articles are either accurate (lead to a takeover announcement) or informative (provide substantial justification for the rumor’s publication). Moreover, we find abnormal insider trading to be a significant predictor of takeover announcements occurring within the following year. Finally, trading patterns differ between different types of insiders in both the pre- and post-rumor periods.

Second, we examine the possibility of informed institutional trading around takeover rumors. We find that pension plan sponsors and money managers are net-buyers in firms which will become subject to takeover speculation within the following seven days. This activity is significant in predicting which rumored firms will eventually receive takeover bids. Furthermore, we find that institutions on average reverse their trades and engage in significant selling on and after the rumor date, even in those firms which will become subject to a takeover announcement.

Third, we investigate and quantify the pervasiveness of informed trading in the equity options of rumored takeover targets. We find that the volume of options traded is abnormally high over the 5-day pre-rumor period, primarily due to the number of out-of-the-money call options traded. In addition, the direction of option trades prior to takeover rumors predicts forthcoming takeover announcements and rumor date returns. Identifying suspicious trades, we find evidence of individuals trading on knowledge of takeover rumor candidacy in the options market. Our results further indicate that informed traders prefer the options market to the equity market.

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