Stock Price Reaction to the Stock Splits Announcement of Listed Companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange


  • W. S. S Soyza
  • K. A. S. S. Kodithuwakku
  • S.M.R.K. Samarakoon



A stock split is a corporate event that directly impacts the number of a company’s shares and indirectly on stock prices. This study tests the effect of the stock splits on the share price of companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange during the periods of pre and post stock split announcement in accordance with the Efficient Market Hypothesis. The main objective of this paper is to identify the overall impact of a stock split announcement on stock prices. This study analyses 88 annual stock splits during the ten (10) year period from 2009 to 2019 by taking the listed companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange into consideration. It uses the event study methodology to test the market efficiency of the Colombo Stock Exchange, and the market model is run with the aid of abnormal returns, which are calculated based on daily closing stock prices and the All-Share Price Index. For analysing the results, the graphical analysis and t statistics have been utilized. According to the event day average abnormal return, the majority of stock splits were more negative than positive with a significant t value at 5% by indicating that investors were taking the stock split announcement as bad news just after the split announcement was released. Each day with a significant Average Abnormal Return shows more positives than negatives. Graphical results have shown both Average Abnormal Return, and Cumulative Average Abnormal Return has remained continuously negative up to 18 and 25 days, respectively, by implicating that stock splits have made a deleterious impact on stock return. This study finally concludes that the information regarding the stock splits has not been absorbed efficiently by the market because the market reactions before and after the date of the split announcement were significant at 5%, although the Average Abnormal Return got a quick reaction to the announcement. Furthermore, results had not provided evidence for Semi-Strong Form efficiency of the Colombo Stock Exchange since the significant stock price adjustments before and after the event day was noticed. By this study, the policymakers and investors are convinced that all information has not been incorporated into stock prices in making their decisions.


Efficient market hypothesis; Event study methodology; Signalling theory; Sri Lanka; Stock splits