The body of literature relating to staff retrenchment announcements is both extensive and broad and covers the impact of staff layoffs from an employee, company and wider society perspective. This paper takes the form of an event study and sets out to investigate whether investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), are able to make abnormal returns, 35 days prior to a staff retrenchment announcement, and over a 180 day window, after an announcement has been made. The stock exchange news service (SENS) database was used as a source for all of the retrenchment announcements made over the period 2001 to 2014. All announcements containing confounding events were removed, before a final population of 60 announcements was selected.
After stratifying the list of companies by market capitalisation and frequency of announcements, statistical tests were run on the five datasets to test for abnormal returns.
The study observed significant abnormal returns on the first day after an announcement (Day 1) in three of the five datasets. Companies with small market capitalisations produced significant abnormal returns 25 to 35 days prior to the announcement, whilst the short-term effects of the announcement were less pronounced in the group of companies that made multiple announcements.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.