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Explaining Returns with Cash-Flow Proxies

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  • Peter Hecht
  • Tuomo Vuolteenaho

Abstract

Stock returns are correlated with contemporaneous earnings growth, dividend growth, future real activity, and other cash-flow proxies. The correlation between cash-flow proxies and stock returns may arise from association of cash-flow proxies with one-period expected returns, cash-flow news, and/or expected-return news. We use Campbell's (1991) return decomposition to measure the relative importance of these three effects in regressions of returns on cash-flow proxies. In some of the popular specifications, variables that are motivated as proxies for cash-flow news also track a nontrivial proportion of one-period expected returns and expected-return news. As a result, the R2 from a regression of returns on cash-flow proxies may overstate or understate the importance of cash-flow news as a source of return variance.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Hecht & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2005. "Explaining Returns with Cash-Flow Proxies," NBER Working Papers 11169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11169
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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