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

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  • Gray, Philip
  • Johnson, Jessica

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gray, Philip & Johnson, Jessica, 2011. "The relationship between asset growth and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 670-680, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:670-680
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Heaney, Richard & Koh, SzeKee & Lan, Yihui, 2016. "Australian firm characteristics and the cross-section variation in equity returns," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 104-115.
    2. Paul Y Dou & David R Gallagher & David H Schneider, 2013. "Dissecting anomalies in the Australian stock market," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 38(2), pages 353-373, August.
    3. Papanastasopoulos, Georgios & Thomakos, Dimitrios, 2017. "Managerial discretion, net operating assets and the cross-section of stock returns: Evidence from European countries," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 188-210.
    4. Papanastasopoulos, Georgios & Thomakos, Dimitrios & Wang, Tao, 2011. "Information in balance sheets for future stock returns: Evidence from net operating assets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 269-282.
    5. repec:bla:acctfi:v:56:y:2016:i:4:p:1097-1117 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bla:irvfin:v:16:y:2016:i:4:p:595-638 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:hur:ijaraf:v:7:y:2017:i:4:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:ememar:v:31:y:2017:i:c:p:141-163 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mai, Van Anh (Vivian) & Ang, Tze Chuan ‘Chewie’ & Fang, Victor, 2016. "Aggregate volatility risk and the cross-section of stock returns: Australian evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 134-149.
    10. Wang, Yifeng & Liu, Cheyuan & Lee, Jen-Sin & Wang, Yanming, 2015. "The relation between asset growth and the cross-section of stock returns: Evidence from the Chinese stock market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 59-67.

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