IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/finlet/v8y2011i2p88-100.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A note on operating leverage and expected rates of return

Author

Listed:
  • Guthrie, Graeme

Abstract

Conventional wisdom, used to explain the value premium, is that greater operating leverage increases systematic risk and therefore leads to a higher expected rate of return earned by a firm's owners. This paper shows that the relationship between operating leverage and the expected return is actually non-monotonic when allowance is made for the option to abandon an unprofitable project: the expected return is an increasing function of operating leverage when the latter is low, but a decreasing function when it is high. This demonstrates the dangers in drawing inferences from models that ignore the flexibility embedded in typical investment projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Guthrie, Graeme, 2011. "A note on operating leverage and expected rates of return," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 88-100, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:88-100
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1544612310000577
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    3. Mandelker, Gershon N. & Rhee, S. Ghon, 1984. "The Impact of the Degrees of Operating and Financial Leverage on Systematic Risk of Common Stock," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 45-57, March.
    4. Conze, Antoine & Viswanathan, 1991. " Path Dependent Options: The Case of Lookback Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1893-1907, December.
    5. Sudarsanam, Puliyur S, 1992. "Market and Industry Structure and Corporate Cost of Capital," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 189-199, June.
    6. Murray Carlson & Adlai Fisher & Ron Giammarino, 2004. "Corporate Investment and Asset Price Dynamics: Implications for the Cross-section of Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2577-2603, December.
    7. Glenn W. Boyle & Graeme A. Guthrie, 2003. "Investment, Uncertainty, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2143-2166, October.
    8. Joao Gomes & Leonid Kogan & Lu Zhang, 2003. "Equilibrium Cross Section of Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 693-732, August.
    9. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    10. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli & Swary, Itzhak, 1996. "Investor valuation of the abandonment option," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 257-287, October.
    11. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard C. Green & Vasant Naik, 1999. "Optimal Investment, Growth Options, and Security Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1553-1607, October.
    12. Ilan Cooper, 2006. "Asset Pricing Implications of Nonconvex Adjustment Costs and Irreversibility of Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 139-170, February.
    13. Booth, Laurence, 1991. "The Influence of Production Technology on Risk and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 109-127, March.
    14. Lev, Baruch, 1974. "On the Association between Operating Leverage and Risk," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 627-641, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gu, Lifeng & Hackbarth, Dirk & Johnson, Tim, 2017. "Inflexibility and Stock Returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 12441, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Guthrie, Graeme, 2013. "A value premium without operating leverage," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-11.
    3. Graeme Guthrie, 2014. "Real Options And The Cross-Section Of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 265-283, April.
    4. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2018. "Optimal DOL (degree of operating leverage) with investment and production flexibility," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 172-181.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:88-100. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/frl .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.