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Innovative Originality, Profitability, and Stock Returns

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  • David Hirshleifer
  • Po-Hsuan Hsu
  • Dongmei Li

Abstract

We propose that innovative originality (InnOrig) is a valuable organizational resource, and that owing to limited investor attention and skepticism of complexity, firms with greater InnOrig are undervalued. We find that firms’ InnOrig strongly predicts higher, more persistent, and less volatile profitability; and higher abnormal stock returns—findings that are robust to extensive controls. The return predictive power of InnOrig is stronger for firms with higher valuation uncertainty, lower investor attention, and greater sensitivity of future profitability to InnOrig. This evidence suggests that innovative originality acts as a ‘competitive moat,’ and that the market undervalues InnOrig.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hirshleifer & Po-Hsuan Hsu & Dongmei Li, 2017. "Innovative Originality, Profitability, and Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 23432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23432
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    • 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
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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