Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019


I examine the effects of issuer credit ratings on the costs associated with seasoned equity offerings (SEOs). The evidence from a panel of SEOs from 1990 to 2014 shows that when firms issue seasoned equity, those with issuer credit ratings pay reduced investment banking fees. I confirm these results by conducting a propensity-score matched-sample comparison analysis of firms that obtain new, long-term issuer credit ratings with an unrated control group. Controlling for known determinants of SEO fees, I find that firms that obtain a new credit rating before issuing seasoned equity pay significantly reduced investment banking fees. In economic terms, underwriting fees for newly rated firms are 7.2% lower than those for similar, yet unrated firms. Finally, I examine the indirect costs of issuance and find evidence that credit-rated firms face reduced market-based costs to issue. Rated firms incur lower dilutionary costs to issue and have more positive abnormal returns surrounding the issue.

Copyright Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

McBrayer, G.A. (2019). Credit Ratings and the Cost of Issuing Seasoned Equity. The Journal of Financial Research, 42(2), 303-330,

which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.