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Fiscal Year End and the January Effect: A Note

Working Paper 364 | Published August 1, 1987

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Authors

Aharon R. Ofer

Ravi Jagannathan

Fiscal Year End and the January Effect: A Note

Abstract

The fiscal year and the calendar year coincide for a large fraction of firms traded in the New York and American Stock Exchanges. It is therefore possible that part of the large positive abnormal return earned by stocks as a group during the first week of trading in January may be due to temporal resolution of uncertainty accompanying the end of the fiscal year. We study this hypothesis by examining whether stocks of firms with fiscal years ending in months other than December also realize positive abnormal returns, following the end of their fiscal years. We find that there are no excess returns for such firms in the first five trading days following the end of the fiscal year.