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Evidence of excess returns on firms that issue or repurchase equity


  • William R. Nelson


Between 1927 and 1992, portfolios of the stock of the 5 percent of firms with the lowest annual growth in shares outstanding (generally a reduction in shares outstanding) posted returns over the subsequent five years that averaged 12 percentage points more per year than the returns to portfolios of the 5 percent of firms with the highest annual growth in shares. The difference in returns is greater in more recent years and was positive for all of the final 33 years of the sample. The difference is apparent for portfolios of firms of all sizes and industries. The market beta of the returns to the portfolios of repurchasers exceeds only slightly that of the returns to the portfolios of issuers, insufficiently to account for more than a small part of the difference in average returns.

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Nelson, 1999. "Evidence of excess returns on firms that issue or repurchase equity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    2. Ikenberry, David & Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1995. "Market underreaction to open market share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 181-208.
    3. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    4. Masulis, Ronald W. & Korwar, Ashok N., 1986. "Seasoned equity offerings : An empirical investigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 91-118.
    5. Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1990. " Anomalous Price Behavior around Repurchase Tender Offers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 455-477, June.
    6. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    7. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
    8. Masulis, Ronald W, 1980. " Stock Repurchase by Tender Offer: An Analysis of the Causes of Common Stock Price Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 305-319, May.
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    1. William R. Nelson, 1999. "The aggregate change in shares and the level of stock prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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