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The relationship between asset growth and the cross-section of stock returns

  • Gray, Philip
  • Johnson, Jessica
Registered author(s):

    There is a large body of literature examining the association between stock characteristics and the cross-section of stock returns in international markets. Recently, Cooper et al. (2008) reported a strong association between total asset growth and stock returns in the US. In this paper, we show that an asset-growth effect also exists in the Australian equity market. Of particular interest, it is present amongst the largest Australian stocks. Over the 1983-2007 period, an equally-weighted portfolio of low-growth Big stocks outperforms a portfolio of high-growth Big stocks by an average 1% per month, equating to nearly 13% per annum. At an individual stock level of analysis, the asset-growth effect remains even after controlling for other variables whose association with the cross-section of returns is well known. Finally, we explicitly test whether asset growth is a priced risk factor using the common two-stage cross-sectional regression methodology. We find no evidence to support a risk-based explanation, thereby lending credence to Cooper et al.'s (2008) suggestion that the asset-growth effect is attributable to mispricing.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCY-50BJNMP-2/2/88be43ba49adc17c69b8020b4a573fcd
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 670-680

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:670-680
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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