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Do investors overvalue firms with bloated balance sheets?

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  • Hirshleifer, David
  • Kewei Hou
  • Teoh, Siew Hong
  • Yinglei Zhang

Abstract

When cumulative net operating income (accounting value-added) outstrips cumulative free cash flow (cash value-added), subsequent earnings growth is weak. If investors with limited attention focus on accounting profitability, and neglect information about cash profitability, then net operating assets, the cumulation of the discrepancies between the two, measures the extent to which reporting outcomes provoke over-optimism. During the 1964-2002 sample period, net operating assets scaled by total assets is a strong negative predictor of long-run stock returns. Predictability is robust with respect to an extensive set of controls and testing methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Accounting and Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 297-331

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:38:y:2004:i::p:297-331

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