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What Drives Firm-Level Stock Returns?

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  • Tuomo Vuolteenaho

Abstract

I use a vector autoregressive model (VAR) to decompose an individual firm's stock return into two components: changes in cash-flow expectations (i.e., cash-flow news) and changes in discount rates (i.e., expected-return news). The VAR yields three main results. First, firm-level stock returns are mainly driven by cash-flow news. For a typical stock, the variance of cash-flow news is more than twice that of expected-return news. Second, shocks to expected returns and cash flows are positively correlated for a typical small stock. Third, expected-return-news series are highly correlated across firms, while cash-flow news can largely be diversified away in aggregate portfolios.

Suggested Citation

  • Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2001. "What Drives Firm-Level Stock Returns?," NBER Working Papers 8240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8240
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    Cited by:

    1. Lin, Xiaoji, 2012. "Endogenous technological progress and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 411-427.

    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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