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Expectations and Share Prices


  • Edwin J. Elton

    (New York University)

  • Martin J. Gruber

    (New York University)

  • Mustafa Gultekin

    (New York University)


It is generally believed that security prices are determined by expectations concerning firm and economic variables. Despite this belief there is very little research examining expectational data. In this paper we examine how expectations concerning earning per share effect share price. We first show that knowledge concerning analyst's forecasts of earnings per share cannot by itself lead to excess returns. Any information contained in the consensus estimate of earnings per share is already included in share price. Investors or managers who buy high growth stocks where high growth is determined by consensus beliefs should not earn an excess return. This is not due to earnings having no effect upon share price since knowledge of actual earnings leads to excess return. Much larger excess returns are earned if one is able to determine those stocks for which analysts most underestimate return. Finally, the largest returns can be earned by knowing which stocks for which analysts will make the greatest revision in their estimates. This pattern of results suggests that share price is affected by expectations about earnings per share. Given any degree of forecasting ability managers can obtain best results by acting on the differences between their forecasts and concensus forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Edwin J. Elton & Martin J. Gruber & Mustafa Gultekin, 1981. "Expectations and Share Prices," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(9), pages 975-987, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:27:y:1981:i:9:p:975-987

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    Cited by:

    1. Gaétan Breton & Alain Schatt, 2000. "Rôle et caractérisation de l’analyse financière," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 59(4), pages 147-161.
    2. Beheshti, Bijan, 2015. "A note on the integration of the alpha alignment factor and earnings forecasting models in producing more efficient Markowitz Frontiers," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 582-584.
    3. Higgins, Huong, 2013. "Can securities analysts forecast intangible firms’ earnings?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-174.
    4. Ho, Li-Chin Jennifer & Hassell, John M. & Swidler, Steve, 1995. "An empirical examination of the dispersion and accuracy of analyst forecasts surrounding option listing," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 171-185.
    5. Schröder, David & Esterer, Florian, 2012. "A new measure of equity duration: The duration-based explanation of the value premium revisited," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62077, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Doukas, John A. & McKnight, Phillip J. & Pantzalis, Christos, 2005. "Security analysis, agency costs, and UK firm characteristics," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 493-507.
    7. Golez, Benjamin & Marin, Jose M., 2015. "Price support by bank-affiliated mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 614-638.
    8. Shao, Barret Pengyuan & Rachev, Svetlozar T. & Mu, Yu, 2015. "Applied mean-ETL optimization in using earnings forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 561-567.
    9. repec:spr:annopr:v:267:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2380-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bandyopadhyay, Sati P. & Brown, Lawrence D. & Richardson, Gordon D., 1995. "Analysts' use of earnings forecasts in predicting stock returns: Forecast horizon effects," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 429-445, September.
    11. Arnulfo Rodríguez & Gerardo Zúñiga & Pedro N. Rodríguez, 2008. "Analysis of the Performance of Mexican Pension Funds: Evidence from a Stationary Bootstrap Application," Working Papers 2008-02, Banco de México.
    12. Huijgen, Carel & Plantinga, Auke, 1999. "Analysts' earnings forecasts and international asset allocation," Research Report 99E38, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    13. Guerard, John Jr. & Blin, John & Bender, Steve, 1998. "Forecasting earnings composite variables, financial anomalies, and efficient Japanese and U.S. portfolios," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 255-259, June.
    14. Guerard, John B. & Markowitz, Harry & Xu, GanLin, 2015. "Earnings forecasting in a global stock selection model and efficient portfolio construction and management," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 550-560.
    15. Gillam, Robert A. & Guerard, John B. & Cahan, Rochester, 2015. "News volume information: Beyond earnings forecasting in a global stock selection model," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 575-581.
    16. Florian Esterer & David Schröder, 2014. "Implied cost of capital investment strategies: evidence from international stock markets," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-195, May.
    17. Lim, Tiong Kiong & Kong, Hwee Chi, 2004. "New evidence on price impact of analyst forecast revisions," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 161-190.
    18. Ryan Chacon & Dan French & Kuntara Pukthuanthong, 2018. "The Information Content of Analysts' Net Asset Value Estimates: The Case of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)," ERES eres2018_82, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    19. repec:dgr:rugsom:99e38 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Doukas, John A. & Kim, Chansog & Pantzalis, Christos, 2006. "Divergence of opinion and equity returns under different states of earnings expectations," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 310-331, August.
    21. Conroy, Robert M. & Harris, Robert S., 1995. "Analysts' earnings forecasts in Japan: Accuracy and sell-side optimism," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 393-408, December.
    22. Elkin Castaño Vélez & Luis Fernando Melo Velandia, 2000. "Metodos de combinacion de pronosticos: una aplicacion a la inflacion," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 52, pages 113-165, Enero Jun.

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