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The Stock Market Valuation of Research and Development Expenditures

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  • Louis K.C. Chan
  • Josef Lakonishok
  • Theodore Sougiannis

Abstract

We examine whether stock prices fully reflect the value of firms' intangible assets, focusing on research and development (R&D). Since intangible assets are not reported on financial statements under current U.S. accounting standards and R&D spending is expensed, the valuation problem may be especially challenging. Nonetheless we find that historically the stock returns of firms doing R&D on average matches the returns on firms with no R&D. For companies engaged in R&D, high R&D intensity has a distinctive effect on returns for two groups of stocks. Within the set of growth stocks, R&D-intensive stocks tend to out-perform stocks with little or no R&D. Companies with high R&D relative to equity market value (who tend to have poor past returns) show strong signs of mis-pricing. In both cases the market apparently fails to give sufficient credit for firms' R&D investments. Our exploratory investigation of the effects of advertising on returns yields similar results. We also provide evidence that R&D intensity is positively associated with return volatility, everything else equal. Insofar as the association reflects investors' lack of information about firms' R&D activity, increased accounting disclosure may be beneficial.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis K.C. Chan & Josef Lakonishok & Theodore Sougiannis, 1999. "The Stock Market Valuation of Research and Development Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 7223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chan, Louis K C & Hamao, Yasushi & Lakonishok, Josef, 1991. " Fundamentals and Stock Returns in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1739-1764, December.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Clint Cumminq & Elizabeth S. Laderman & Joy Mundy, 1988. "The R&D Master File Documentation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Baily, Martin Neil, 1972. "Research and Development Costs and Returns: The U. S. Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(1), pages 70-85, Jan.-Feb..
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    Cited by:

    1. Hong, Harrison & Kubik, Jeffrey D. & Stein, Jeremy C., 2008. "The only game in town: Stock-price consequences of local bias," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 20-37, October.
    2. Badreddine Hamdi, 2006. "Valeur comptable versus valeur boursière," Post-Print halshs-00558378, HAL.
    3. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna, 2016. "Inverted-U relationship between R&D intensity and survival: Evidence on scale and complementarity effects in UK data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1474-1492.
    4. Edward Jones & Jo Danbolt, 2003. "R&D project announcements and the impact of ownership structure," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(14), pages 933-936.
    5. Munari, Federico & Roberts, Edward B. & Sobrero, Maurizio, 2002. "Privatization processes and the redefinition of corporate R&D boundaries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 31-53, January.
    6. Baker, Matthew J & Cunningham, Brendan M, 2006. "Court Decisions and Equity Markets: Estimating the Value of Copyright Protection," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 567-596, October.
    7. Kent Daniel & Sheridan Titman, 2006. "Market Reactions to Tangible and Intangible Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1605-1643, August.
    8. Esther B. Del Brio & Javier Perote & Julio Pindado, 2003. "Measuring the Impact of Corporate Investment Announcements on Share Prices: The Spanish Experience," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5-6), pages 715-747.
    9. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Rosina Moreno & Jordi Caralt, 2005. "Ownership structure and innovation: is there a real link?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 39(4), pages 637-662, December.
    10. Badreddine Hamdi, 2006. "Valeur comptable versus valeur boursière," Post-Print halshs-00558038, HAL.
    11. Yung Chul Park & Yunjong Wang, 2002. "What Kind of International Financial Architecture for an Integrated World Economy?," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-128.
    12. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-362 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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