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Stock Returns, Aggregate Earnings Surprises, And Behavioral Finance

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  • Kothari, S.P.
  • Lewellen, Jonathan
  • Warner, Jerold
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    Abstract

    We study the stock market reaction to aggregate earnings news. Previous research shows that, for individual firms, stock prices react positively to earnings news but require several quarters to fully reflect the information in earnings. We find that the relation between returns and earnings is substantially different in aggregate data. First, returns are unrelated to past earnings, suggesting that prices neither underreact nor overreact to aggregate earnings news. Second, aggregate returns are negatively correlated with concurrent earnings; over the last 30 years, stock prices increased 6.5% in quarters with negative earnings growth and only 1.9% otherwise. This finding suggests that earnings and discount rates move together over time, and provides new evidence that discount-rate shocks explain a significant fraction of aggregate stock returns

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/1829
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 4284-03.

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    Date of creation: 20 Feb 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:1829

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    Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
    Phone: 617-253-2659
    Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/
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    Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

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    1. Kent Daniel & David Hirshleifer & Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, 1998. "Investor Psychology and Security Market Under- and Overreactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1839-1885, December.
    2. French, Kenneth R. & Schwert, G. William & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1987. "Expected stock returns and volatility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-29, September.
    3. Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2002. "What Drives Firm-Level Stock Returns?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 233-264, 02.
    4. Brooks, LeRoy D & Buckmaster, Dale A, 1976. "Further Evidence on the Time Series Properties of Accounting Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1359-73, December.
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    6. Barberis, Nicholas & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1998. "A model of investor sentiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 307-343, September.
    7. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
    8. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
    10. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
    11. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1995. " Size and Book-to-Market Factors in Earnings and Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 131-55, March.
    12. Ball, Ray & Watts, Ross, 1972. "Some Time Series Properties of Accounting Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(3), pages 663-81, June.
    13. Yeung Lewis Chan & Leonid Kogan, 2002. "Catching Up with the Joneses: Heterogeneous Preferences and the Dynamics of Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1255-1285, December.
    14. Kaul, Gautam, 1987. "Stock returns and inflation : The role of the monetary sector," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 253-276, June.
    15. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
    16. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dedu Vasile & Turcan Ciprian Sebastian & Turcan Radu, 2012. "An Introduction To Behavioral Corporate Finance," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 471-476, December.

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