An Examination of Ex‐Dividend Day Stock Price Movements: The Case of Nontaxable Master Limited Partnership Distributions

  • Author(s): WAYNE H. SHAW
  • Published: Apr 30, 2012
  • Pages: 755-771
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1991.tb02685.x


This study examines the unit (stock) price and volume behavior of master limited partnerships (MLP) around the ex‐dividend day. Since the dividends of MLPs are not taxable to the unitholder, tax based hypotheses predict no abnormal unit movements around the ex‐day. Significant positive excess returns and volume are found before the ex‐dividend day, and significant negative excess returns are found on the ex‐dividend day. The findings which are not significantly impacted by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 suggest ex‐day stock movements are not solely a function of investor marginal tax rates or corporate trading behavior.

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