Corporate acquisitions using overpriced shares of stock rarely do much to cushion the decline the shares eventually suffer, according to a new study.

The study, which appeared in the November/December issue of the American Accounting Association’s journal, The Accounting Review, found that such acquisitions are hardly a bargain, despite conventional wisdom, and often presage lagging returns over the long term. On the contrary, they frequently lead to large write-offs of goodwill, along with lawsuits from groups of shareholders.

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