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Earnings dispersion and aggregate stock returns

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  • Jorgensen, Bjorn
  • Li, Jing
  • Sadka, Gil

Abstract

This paper studies the relation between aggregate stock returns and contemporaneous and future cross-sectional earnings dispersion. We hypothesize that increases in expected earnings dispersion signal increases in uncertainty and increases in unemployment, thereby causing expected returns to rise, which in turn causes prices to decline. We find a positive relation between aggregate stock returns and contemporaneous earnings dispersion because higher earnings dispersion is associated with higher expected returns. Consequently, we also find a negative relation between aggregate stock returns and future (one-year ahead) earnings dispersion, as investors anticipate higher future earnings dispersion and higher expected returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorgensen, Bjorn & Li, Jing & Sadka, Gil, 2012. "Earnings dispersion and aggregate stock returns," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2011.06.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Nakano, Makoto & Aoki, Yasuharu, 2016. "What Explains Widening Profitability Dispersion Around The World?," Hitotsubashi Journal of commerce and management, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 50(1), pages 23-46, January.
    3. Andrew Phiri, 2017. "The Unemployment-Stock Market Relationship in South Africa: Evidence from Symmetric and Asymmetric Cointegration Models," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 15(3 (Fall)), pages 231-254.
    4. Hamid Reza Vakilifard & Forough Heirany, 2013. "A Comparative Evaluation of the Predictability of Fama-French Three-Factor Model and Chen Model in Explaining the Stock Returns of Tehran Stock Exchange," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 3(3), pages 118-124, July.
    5. Yaniv Konchitchki & Yan Luo & Mary L. Z. Ma & Feng Wu, 2016. "Accounting-based downside risk, cost of capital, and the macroeconomy," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-36, March.
    6. Johnson, Timothy C. & Lee, Jaehoon, 2014. "On the systematic volatility of unpriced earnings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 84-104.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Accounting valuation; Earnings dispersion; Expected-return variation; Profitability;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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