Allegations of ethical conduct in violation of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)-2002 continue. As the investment community and the public witness the trials and convictions of several corporate executives, the impact of the independent Auditor's Opinion (IAO) cannot be understated. This source of unbiased evaluation of a firm's ability to remain as a going-concern is clearly essential. This paper assumes that the IAO contains new information that is useful in evaluating the sustainability of a firm. In this paper, an event study is performed to assess the information content in stock returns prior to and following the lAO announcement week for a group of firms that received non-compliance notification from the NASDAQ. The empirical results strongly suggest that there was minimal information content contained in the stock returns of the firms studied in the period prior to the lAO announcement week. However, significant information content was evident following the announcement. Our results empirically suggest that the information content contained in equity returns did not suggest de-capitalization effects were occurring prior to independent auditor evaluation of the firm's financial information.





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