G12 Asset Pricing; Trading volume; Bond Interest Rates
Cash flow and discount rate risk in up and down markets: what is actually priced?
- We test whether asymmetric preferences for losses versus gains as in Ang, Chen, and Xing (2006) also affect the pricing of cash flow versus discount rate news as in Campbell and Vuolteenaho (2004). We construct a new four-fold beta decomposition, distinguishing cash flow and discount rate betas in up and down markets. Using CRSP data over 1963–2008, we find that the downside cash flow beta and downside discount rate beta carry the largest premia. We subject our result to an extensive number of robustness checks. Overall, downside cash flow risk is priced most consistently across different samples, periods, and return decomposition methods, and is the only component of beta that has significant out-of-sample predictive ability. The downside cash flow risk premium is mainly attributable to small stocks. The risk premium for large stocks appears much more driven by a compensation for symmetric, cash flow related risk. Finally, we multiply our premia estimates by average betas to compute the contribution of the different risk components to realized average returns. We find that up and down discount rate components dominate the contribution to average returns of downside cash flow risk. Keywords: Asset Pricing, Beta, Downside Risk, Upside Risk, Cash Flow Risk, Discount Rate Risk JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14
Non-voting shares in France : an empirical analysis of the voting premium
Christian K. Muus
- It is the objective of this paper to determine the voting premium for French shares by comparing the values of voting and non-voting shares, and to analyze the value of the voting rights. The study uses data for 25 French companies which had both types of shares outstanding and traded on the stock exchange during the entire period from 1986 to 1996, or for some time during this interval. The average value of the voting premium is 51,35%.
The paper analyzes the reasons for this surprisingly high value by testing different hypotheses based on dividend differences, the revival) of the voting right, capitalization, shareholder structure, and the share of non-voting capital in total equity capital. The regressions show that the shareholder structure strongly influences the value of the voting premium.
A case study of the attempted takeover of Casino by Promodes shows that investors attach a much higher value to the voting right during relevant situations than at other tomes. Both companies involved had, at the time, two types of shares outstanding and listed. Furthermore the paper shows that non-voting shares have never played an important role in equity finance in France since the companies have different alternatives.
In an international cumparison, France is found to have the second highest voting premium, exceeded only by that of Italy. A probable reason is the low quality of the national accounting standards and the low level of minority shareholder protection.
How does contagion affect general equilibrium asset prices?
- This paper analyzes the equilibrium pricing implications of contagion risk in a Lucas-tree economy with recursive preferences and jumps. We introduce a new economic channel allowing for the possibility that endowment shocks simultaneously trigger a regime shift to a bad economic state. We document that these contagious jumps have far-reaching asset pricing implications. The risk premium for such shocks is superadditive, i.e. it is 2.5\% larger than the sum of the risk premia for pure endowment shocks and regime switches. Moreover, contagion risk reduces the risk-free rate by around 0.5\%. We also derive semiclosed-form solutions for the wealth-consumption ratio and the price-dividend ratios in an economy with two Lucas trees and analyze cross-sectional effects of contagion risk qualitatively. We find that heterogeneity among the assets with respect to contagion risk can increase risk premia disproportionately. In particular, big assets with a large exposure to contagious shocks carry significantly higher risk premia.
Growth options and firm valuation
- This paper studies the relation between firm value and a firm's growth options. We find strong empirical evidence that (average) Tobin's Q increases with firm-level volatility. However, the significance mainly comes from R&D firms, which have more growth options than non-R&D firms. By decomposing firm-level volatility into its systematic and unsystematic part, we also document that only idiosyncratic volatility (ivol) has a significant effect on valuation. Second, we analyze the relation of stock returns to realized contemporaneous idiosyncratic volatility and R&D expenses. Single sorting according to the size of idiosyncratic volatility, we only find a significant ivol anomaly for non-R&D portfolios, whereas in a four-factor model the portfolio alphas of R&D portfolios are all positive. Double sorting on idiosyncratic volatility and R&D expenses also reveals these differences between R&D and non-R&D firms. To simultaneously control for several explanatory variables, we also run panel regressions of portfolio alphas which confirm the relative importance of idiosyncratic volatility that is amplified by R&D expenses.
Option-implied information and predictability of extreme returns
- We study whether prices of traded options contain information about future extreme market events. Our option-implied conditional expectation of market loss due to tail events, or tail loss measure, predicts future market returns, magnitude, and probability of the market crashes, beyond and above other option-implied variables. Stock-specific tail loss measure predicts individual expected returns and magnitude of realized stock-specific crashes in the cross-section of stocks. An investor that cares about the left tail of her wealth distribution benefits from using the tail loss measure as an information variable to construct managed portfolios of a risk-free asset and market index.
Does mood affect trading behavior?
- We test whether investor mood affects trading with data on all stock market transactions in Finland, utilizing variation in daylight and local weather. We find some evidence that environmental mood variables (local weather, length of day, daylight saving and lunar phase) affect investors’ direction of trade and volume. The effect magnitudes are roughly comparable to those of classical seasonals, such as the Monday effect. The statistical significance of the mood variables is weak in many cases, however. Only very little of the day-to-day variation in trading is collectively explained by all mood variables and calendar effects, but lower frequency variation seems connected to holiday seasons.