Connecting the dots: the accruals quality premium vs the value premium
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the connection between the accrual quality and the growth/value characteristics (and their return premia) at firm level. Design/methodology/approach - The paper employs a battery of univariate and multivariate cross-sectional tests. Fama-MacBeth regressions with main effects and interaction effects are used to identify the relation between accrual quality, book-to-market and returns. The analysis is conducted on the overall sample, as well as after conditioning on up and down markets. Findings - Value (growth) stocks are more likely to be associated with high (low) accrual quality. Value stocks earn higher returns mainly in down markets, while poor accrual quality firms have significantly higher returns during up markets, but significantly lower returns during down markets. There is a significant interaction effect between accrual quality and the value premium, which only exhibits in the down markets (i.e. stocks with poor accrual quality earn a higher value premium in down markets than stocks with good accrual quality). Originality/value - Results in this paper help disentangle between various explanations proposed for the accrual quality premium and the value premium. These findings are consistent with the idea that the same underlying risk factor generating the value premium also generates the cross-sectional variation in accrual quality responsible for the accrual quality premium. From the corporate managers' perspective, the results imply that value firms can mitigate their higher costs of capital by providing high quality of accounting information. From an analyst's perspective, the study suggests that considering both accrual quality and growth characteristics can help make better portfolio allocation decisions than when these are considered separately.
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Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
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