IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Earnings dispersion and aggregate stock returns

Listed author(s):
  • Jorgensen, Bjorn
  • Li, Jing
  • Sadka, Gil

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165410111000486
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 53 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-20

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:1-20
DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2011.06.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jae

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-522, June.
  2. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1988. " Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 661-676, July.
  3. Handa, Puneet & Kothari, S. P. & Wasley, Charles, 1989. "The relation between the return interval and betas : Implications for the size effect," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 79-100, June.
  4. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-793, August.
  5. repec:hrv:faseco:30747159 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Varian, Hal R, 1985. " Divergence of Opinion in Complete Markets: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 309-317, March.
  7. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Loewenstein, Uri & Suay, Jose, 1995. "On Equilibrium Pricing under Parameter Uncertainty," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(03), pages 347-364, September.
  8. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
  9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
  10. Anilowski, Carol & Feng, Mei & Skinner, Douglas J., 2007. "Does earnings guidance affect market returns? The nature and information content of aggregate earnings guidance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 36-63, September.
  11. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 2001. "Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: A Cross-Sectional Test When Risk Premia Are Time-Varying," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1238-1287, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-179, March.
  14. Kothari, S.P. & Lewellen, Jonathan & Warner, Jerold B., 2006. "Stock returns, aggregate earnings surprises, and behavioral finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 537-568, March.
  15. Abel, Andrew B., 1988. "Stock prices under time-varying dividend risk : An exact solution in an infinite-horizon general equilibrium model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 375-393.
  16. Kothari, S. P. & Sloan, Richard G., 1992. "Information in prices about future earnings : Implications for earnings response coefficients," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2-3), pages 143-171, August.
  17. Ball, Ray & Kothari, S. P. & Robin, Ashok, 2000. "The effect of international institutional factors on properties of accounting earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51, February.
  18. Barry, Christopher B. & Brown, Stephen J., 1985. "Differential Information and Security Market Equilibrium," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 407-422, December.
  19. repec:bla:joares:v:6:y:1968:i:2:p:159-178 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Fama, Eugene F, 1990. " Stock Returns, Expected Returns, and Real Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1089-1108, September.
  21. Richard Lambert & Christian Leuz & Robert E. Verrecchia, 2007. "Accounting Information, Disclosure, and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 385-420, 05.
  22. Basu, Sudipta, 1997. "The conservatism principle and the asymmetric timeliness of earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-37, December.
  23. Sadka, Gil & Sadka, Ronnie, 2009. "Predictability and the earnings-returns relation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 87-106, October.
  24. Clarkson, Pete & Guedes, Jose & Thompson, Rex, 1996. "On the Diversification, Observability, and Measurement of Estimation Risk," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(01), pages 69-84, March.
  25. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
  26. Khan, Mozaffar, 2008. "Are accruals mispriced Evidence from tests of an Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 55-77, March.
  27. 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.
  28. Collins, Daniel W. & Kothari, S. P., 1989. "An analysis of intertemporal and cross-sectional determinants of earnings response coefficients," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 143-181, July.
  29. Hirshleifer, David & Hou, Kewei & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2009. "Accruals, cash flows, and aggregate stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 389-406, March.
  30. Jiang, Danling, 2008. "Cross-Sectional Dispersion of Firm Valuations and Expected Stock Returns," MPRA Paper 8325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  31. Hamilton, James D, 1988. "A Neoclassical Model of Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 593-617, June.
  32. Schwert, G William, 1990. " Stock Returns and Real Activity: A Century of Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1237-1257, September.
  33. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
  34. Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2000. "The changing time-series properties of earnings, cash flows and accruals: Has financial reporting become more conservative?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 287-320, June.
  35. Abarbanell, Jeffery & Lehavy, Reuven, 2003. "Biased forecasts or biased earnings? The role of reported earnings in explaining apparent bias and over/underreaction in analysts' earnings forecasts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-3), pages 105-146, December.
  36. Loungani, Prakash & Rush, Mark & Tave, William, 1990. "Stock market dispersion and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 367-388, June.
  37. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Loewenstein, Uri, 1988. "Equilibrium pricing and portfolio composition in the presence of uncertain parameters," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 279-303, December.
  38. David Easley & Maureen O'Hara, 2010. "Microstructure and Ambiguity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1817-1846, October.
  39. Jeffrey L. Callen & Dan Segal, 2004. "Do Accruals Drive Firm-Level Stock Returns? A Variance Decomposition Analysis," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 527-560, 06.
  40. Collins, Daniel W. & Kothari, S. P. & Rayburn, Judy Dawson, 1987. "Firm size and the information content of prices with respect to earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 111-138, July.
  41. Chen, Nai-Fu, 1991. " Financial Investment Opportunities and the Macroeconomy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 529-554, June.
  42. Barberis, Nicholas & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1998. "A model of investor sentiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 307-343, September.
  43. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  44. Gil Sadka, 2007. "Understanding Stock Price Volatility: The Role of Earnings," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 199-228, 03.
  45. Hosios, Arthur J, 1994. "Unemployment and Vacancies with Sectoral Shifts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 124-144, March.
  46. Tano Santos & Pietro Veronesi, 2006. "Labor Income and Predictable Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 1-44.
  47. Levi, Maurice D, 1973. "Errors in the Variables Bias in the Presence of Correctly Measured Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 985-986, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:1-20. 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)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.