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Sources of Momentum Profits: Evidence on the Irrelevance of Characteristics

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  • Pavel Bandarchuk
  • Jens Hilscher

Abstract

Several recent studies document that sorting stocks first on certain stock-level characteristics and then on past returns results in elevated momentum profits. We show that such strategies enhance momentum profits simply by trading in stocks with more extreme past returns. Adjusted for this effect, elevated momentum profits resulting from characteristics (size, R-super-2, turnover, age, analyst coverage, analyst forecast dispersion, market-to-book, price, illiquidity, credit rating) disappear almost entirely. Interaction patterns have been used to support behavioral and limits-to-arbitrage explanations of momentum; our findings imply that explanations of momentum should instead focus on the link between momentum profits and extreme past returns. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavel Bandarchuk & Jens Hilscher, 2013. "Sources of Momentum Profits: Evidence on the Irrelevance of Characteristics," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(2), pages 809-845.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:17:y:2013:i:2:p:809-845
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    1. repec:eee:finmar:v:37:y:2018:i:c:p:120-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Chen, Zhuo & Lu, Andrea, 2017. "Slow diffusion of information and price momentum in stocks: Evidence from options markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 98-108.
    3. Tse, Yiuman, 2015. "Momentum strategies with stock index exchange-traded funds," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 134-148.
    4. Clare, Andrew & Seaton, James & Smith, Peter N. & Thomas, Stephen, 2014. "Trend following, risk parity and momentum in commodity futures," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 1-12.
    5. Jacobs, Heiko & Regele, Tobias & Weber, Martin, 2015. "Expected Skewness and Momentum," CEPR Discussion Papers 10601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Peter Nyberg & Salla Pöyry, 2014. "Firm Expansion and Stock Price Momentum," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1465-1505.
    7. Jacobs, Heiko, 2015. "What explains the dynamics of 100 anomalies?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 65-85.
    8. G. Geoffrey Booth & Ayfer Gurun, 2015. "Earnings Smoothing, Momentum and Statistical Arbitrage: Global Evidence," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 5(2), pages 48-65, December.
    9. Geoffrey Booth, G. & Fung, Hung-Gay & Leung, Wai Kin, 2016. "A risk-return explanation of the momentum-reversal “anomaly”," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 68-77.
    10. Krauss, Christopher & Beerstecher, Daniel & Krüger, Tom, 2015. "Feasible earnings momentum in the U.S. stock market: An investor's perspective," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 12/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    11. Cheema, Muhammad A. & Nartea, Gilbert V., 2014. "Momentum returns and information uncertainty: Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 173-188.
    12. Herrmann, Ulf & Rohleder, Martin & Scholz, Hendrik, 2016. "Does style-shifting activity predict performance? Evidence from equity mutual funds," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 112-130.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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