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Dispersion in analysts' earnings forecasts and credit rating

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  • Avramov, Doron
  • Chordia, Tarun
  • Jostova, Gergana
  • Philipov, Alexander

Abstract

This paper shows that the puzzling negative cross-sectional relation between dispersion in analysts' earnings forecasts and future stock returns may be explained by financial distress, as proxied by credit rating downgrades. Focusing on a sample of firms rated by Standard & Poor's (S&P), we show that the profitability of dispersion-based trading strategies concentrates in a small number of the worst-rated firms and is significant only during periods of deteriorating credit conditions. In such periods, the negative dispersion-return relation emerges as low-rated firms experience substantial price drop along with considerable increase in forecast dispersion. Moreover, even for this small universe of worst-rated firms, the dispersion-return relation is non-existent when either the dispersion measure or return is adjusted by credit risk. The results are robust to previously proposed explanations for the dispersion effect such as short-sale constraints and leverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Avramov, Doron & Chordia, Tarun & Jostova, Gergana & Philipov, Alexander, 2009. "Dispersion in analysts' earnings forecasts and credit rating," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 83-101, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:91:y:2009:i:1:p:83-101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuo, Su-Wen & Huang, Chin-Sheng & Jhang, Guan-Cih, 2015. "Liquidity, delistings, and credit risk premium," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 78-89.
    2. Laih, Yih-Wenn & Lai, Hung-Neng & Li, Chun-An, 2015. "Analyst valuation and corporate value discovery," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 235-248.
    3. repec:bec:imsber:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:36-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Campbell R. Harvey & Yan Liu & Heqing Zhu, 2014. ". . . and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns," NBER Working Papers 20592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cheng, Si & Massa, Massimo & Zhang, Hong, 2017. "The Unexpected Activeness of Passive Investors: A World-Wide Analysis of ETFs," CEPR Discussion Papers 11988, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. repec:bla:jfinan:v:73:y:2018:i:3:p:1225-1279 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Huang, Alex YiHou, 2012. "Asymmetric dynamics of stock price continuation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1839-1855.
    8. Kim, Dongcheol & Na, Haejung, 2016. "The forecast dispersion anomaly revisited: Time-series forecast dispersion and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 37-53.
    9. Jens Hilscher & Mungo Wilson, 2011. "Credit ratings and credit risk," Working Papers 31, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    10. Han, Yufeng & Zhou, Guofu & Zhu, Yingzi, 2016. "A trend factor: Any economic gains from using information over investment horizons?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 352-375.
    11. Anolli, Mario & Beccalli, Elena & Molyneux, Philip, 2014. "Bank earnings forecasts, risk and the crisis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 309-335.
    12. Tao, Qizhi & Chen, Carl & Lu, Rui & Zhang, Ting, 2017. "Underfunding or distress? An analysis of corporate pension underfunding and the cross-section of expected stock returns," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 116-133.
    13. Avramov, Doron & Chordia, Tarun & Jostova, Gergana & Philipov, Alexander, 2013. "Anomalies and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 139-159.
    14. Carlin, Bruce I. & Longstaff, Francis A. & Matoba, Kyle, 2014. "Disagreement and asset prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 226-238.
    15. Alessandro Fiaschi, 2009. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies with cash flow uncertainty," Working Papers 3, Doctoral School of Economics, Sapienza University of Rome.
    16. Juan Manuel García Lara & Beatriz García Osma & Fernando Penalva, 2014. "Information Consequences of Accounting Conservatism," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 173-198, June.
    17. Leippold, Markus & Lohre, Harald, 2014. "The dispersion effect in international stock returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 331-342.
    18. Haga, Jesper, 2015. "Intermediate-term momentum and credit rating," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 59-67.
    19. Pedraza Morales, Alvaro, 2014. "Strategic information revelation and capital allocation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6995, The World Bank.
    20. Carbó-Valverde, Santiago & Marques-Ibanez, David & Rodríguez-Fernández, Francisco, 2012. "Securitization, risk-transferring and financial instability: The case of Spain," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 80-101.
    21. Bruce I. Carlin & Francis A. Longstaff & Kyle Matoba, 2012. "Disagreement and Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 18619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Opie, Wei & Zhang, Hong Feng, 2013. "Investor heterogeneity and the cross-sectional stock returns in China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-20.
    23. Adem Atmaz & Suleyman Basak, 2018. "Belief Dispersion in the Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 73(3), pages 1225-1279, June.
    24. Qian, Xiaolin, 2014. "Small investor sentiment, differences of opinion and stock overvaluation," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 219-246.
    25. Narjess Boubakri & Sadok El Ghoul & Omrane Guedhami & Anis Samet, "undated". "The Effects of Analyst Forecast Properties on the Cost of Debt: International Evidence," Finance Working Papers 15-12/2013, School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah.

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