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The cross section of cashflow volatility and expected stock returns

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  • Huang, Alan Guoming

Abstract

I show that historical cashflow volatility is negatively related to future returns cross-sectionally. The negative association is large; economically meaningful; long-lasting up to five years; robust to known return-informative effects of size, value, price and earnings momentums and illiquidity; and extends to both systematic and idiosyncratic cashflow volatilities. Using the standard deviations of cashflow to sales and of cashflow to book equity as proxies for cashflow volatility, the least volatile decile portfolio outperforms the most volatile decile portfolio by 13% a year relative to the Fama-French four factors. The cashflow volatility effect is closely related to the idiosyncratic return volatility effect documented in Ang et al. [Ang, A., Hodrick, R.J., Xing, Y. and Zhang, X. "The cross-section of volatility and expected returns." Journal of Finance, 51 (2006), 259-299.]. However, in portfolios simultaneously sorted on both cashflow and return volatilities, and in cross sectional regressions of returns at the firm level, these two effects neither drive out nor dominate each other. While the pricing of idiosyncratic cashflow volatility represents an anomaly against the traditional asset pricing theories, the pricing of historical cashflow uncertainty sheds light on potential fundamental risks embodied in the Fama-French HML and SMB factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Huang, Alan Guoming, 2009. "The cross section of cashflow volatility and expected stock returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 409-429, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:409-429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sati P. Bandyopadhyay & Alan Guoming Huang & Kevin Jialin Sun & Tony S. Wirjanto, 2017. "The return premiums to accruals quality," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 83-115, January.
    2. repec:eee:finana:v:56:y:2018:i:c:p:127-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chiang, Thomas C. & Zheng, Dazhi, 2015. "Liquidity and stock returns: Evidence from international markets," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 73-97.
    4. Ben Ammar, Semir & Eling, Martin, 2015. "Common risk factors of infrastructure investments," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 257-273.
    5. Zheng, Dazhi & Li, Huimin & Zhu, Xiaowei, 2015. "Herding behavior in institutional investors: Evidence from China’s stock market," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 32, pages 59-76.
    6. Walkshäusl, Christian, 2014. "The MAX effect: European evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-10.
    7. Ben Ammar, Semir & Eling, Martin & Milidonis, Andreas, 2015. "Asset Pricing of Financial Insitutions: The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns in the Property/Liability Insurance Industry," Working Papers on Finance 1516, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    8. repec:eee:riibaf:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:445-460 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Walkshäusl, Christian, 2013. "The high returns to low volatility stocks are actually a premium on high quality firms," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 180-186.
    10. Ding Du & Ou Hu, 2014. "Cash Flows, Currency Risk, And The Cost Of Capital," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 139-158, June.
    11. Kewei Hou & Chen Xue & Lu Zhang, 2017. "Replicating Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 23394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Anagnostopoulou, Seraina C. & Tsekrekos, Andrianos E., 2015. "Accounting quality, information risk and implied volatility around earnings announcements," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 188-207.

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