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Size Effect

Do the stocks of small firms consistently outperform those of larger companies? If so, why, and can investors/traders exploit this tendency? These blog entries relate to the size effect.

Distribution of OTC Stock Returns

Do stocks trading on Over-the-Counter (OTC) markets, generally off limits for institutional traders, present in aggregate a good opportunity for individual investors? In their December 2010 paper entitled “Do Investors Overpay for Stocks with Lottery-Like Payoffs? An Examination of the Returns on OTC Stocks”, Bjørn Eraker and Mark Ready examine returns on U.S. OTC Bulletin Board and Pink Sheet stocks. Using stock price and firm data for 11,260 OTC companies (about a third of which were once listed) over the period 2000 through 2008, they find that: Keep Reading

OTC Stock Returns

Does the relatively illiquid, opaque, retail environment of over-the-counter (OTC) stocks make them behave differently from comparable listed stocks? In their November 2010 paper entitled “The Cross Section of Over-the-Counter Equities”, Andrew Ang, Assaf Shtauber and Paul Tetlock test the abilities of market capitalization, book-to-market ratio, liquidity, return momentum and idiosyncratic volatility to predict OTC stock returns and compare results to those for listed stocks with comparable market capitalizations. As a part of the study, they examine hedge portfolios that are long/short extreme fifths of OTC stocks ranked by these characteristics to estimate of the magnitudes of the respective  premiums. Using trading volumes, market capitalizations, book-to-market ratios (as available) and closing, bid and ask prices for a large sample of OTC-only firms with at least one Financial Industry Regulatory Authority market maker, and for comparable listed firms, during 1975 through 2008, they find that: Keep Reading

Evolution of Size Effect Research

Is the size effect broad and dependable, or narrow and erratic (even gone)? In the November 2010 version of his paper entitled “A Literature Review of the Size Effect”, Michael Crain summarizes past research on the size effect in equity returns, with size measured conventionally as market capitalization. Surveying the major papers on this anomaly, he finds that: Keep Reading

Alternative Equity Index Strategy Horse Race

Market capitalization is the most frequently used metric for weighting the individual stock components of market indexes. Other approaches range from equal weighting to weighting on firm fundamentals to weighting generated by return-risk optimization. How do such alternative metrics work empirically? In the October 2010 draft of their paper entitled “A Survey of Alternative Equity Index Strategies”, Tzee-man Chow, Jason Hsu, Vitali Kalesnik and Bryce Little examine several popular passive index weighting alternatives to market capitalization. They impose common assumptions to backtest these alternatives on U.S. and global equity data over long periods with either annual or quarterly rebalancing. They also apply the Fama-French three-factor model to investigate sources of outperformance relative to capitalization-weighted benchmarks. Using stock/firm data for the 1,000 largest global firms spanning 1987-2009 and for the largest 1,000 U.S. firms spanning 1964-2009, they find that: Keep Reading

Factor Universality?

Studies of the U.S. stock market indicate that some factors and indicators may have predictive power for future returns. Do these findings consistently translate to other large equity markets? In the July 2010 version of their paper entitled “The Cross-Section of German Stock Returns: New Data and New Evidence”, Sabine Artmann, Philipp Finter, Alexander Kempf, Stefan Koch and Erik Theissen apply a new set of single-sorted and double-sorted factor portfolios based on market beta, size, book-to-market ratio and momentum to test for beta effect, size effect, value premium and momentum in the German equity market. In the July 2010 version of their paper entitled “The Impact of Investor Sentiment on the German Stock Market”, Philipp Finter, Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi and Stefan Ruenzi test the predictive power of a composite sentiment measure combining consumer confidence, net equity mutual funds flow, put-call ratio, aggregate trading volume, initial public offering (IPO) returns, number of IPOs and aggregate equity-to-debt ratio of new issues. Using data for 955 non-financial German firms for which sufficient data is available during the period 1960-2006 for the factor portfolios and 1993-2006 for the sentiment measure, these studies find that: Keep Reading

In Search of Super-anomalies

Is there a common factor explaining multiple widely accepted stock return anomalies? In the March 2010 version of their paper entitled “Do Five Asset Pricing Anomalies Share a Common Mispricing Factor?Multifaceted Empirical Analyses of Failure Risk Proxies, External Financing, and Stock Returns” , Joseph Ogden and Julie Fitzpatrick investigate the ability of a single factor, involving operating profit and external financing, to explain five stock return  anomalies: (1) the failure-risk anomaly; (2) earnings momentum; (3) the external financing (stock buybacks/secondary offerings) anomaly; (4) the accruals anomaly; and, (5) the book-to-market anomaly.  Using monthly stock return and firm fundamentals data for a broad sample of U.S. stocks to form 205 portfolios over the period 1974-2008 (60,301 firm-year observations), they find that: Keep Reading

Fly-off of Eight GARP, Value and Size Strategies

Is the value premium readily accessible for individual investors? Which value strategy works best? In his May 2009 article entitled “Can Individual Investors Capture The Value Premium?”, Patrick Larkin uses a ranking methodology to compare the performances of Joel Greenblatt’s magic formula and seven other one and two-factor growth at a reasonable price (GARP) and value strategies. The portfolios for the eight strategies derive from rankings on: (1) the magic formula, a combination of return on capital (ROC) and the ratio of earnings before interest and taxes to Enterprise Value ((EBIT/EV); (2) a combination of return on assets (ROA) and earnings yield (E/P); (3) a combination of return on equity (ROE) and E/P; (4) EBIT/EV alone; (5) E/P alone; (6) a combination of book-to-market ratio (B/M) and market capitalization (Size); (7) B/M alone; and, (8) Size alone. Each month, the author forms equally weighted portfolios of the 30 highest-ranking stocks for each of these eight strategies. Using monthly stock return and GARP-value metric data for a broad sample of firms with market capitalizations over $50 million during December 1998-2006 (97 months), he finds that: Keep Reading

19th Century Test of the Size and Value Factors

Are the size effect and the value premium peculiar to 20th century markets, or are they enduring characteristics of equity market behavior? In the January 2009 preliminary version of their paper entitled “The Asset Pricing Anomalies in 19th Century Britain”, Qing Ye, Charles Hickson and John Turner measure the size and value anomalies using an original 19th century dataset. Using monthly stock prices and annual dividends for 1,051 stocks traded on the London Stock Exchange during March 1825 to December 1870, they conclude that: Keep Reading

Value Premium and Size Effect in Australia

Do stocks in Australia confirm pervasiveness of the value premium and the size effect? In their August 2008 paper entitled “Size and Book-to-market Factors in Australia”, Michael O’Brien, Tim Brailsford and Clive Gaunt measure the value premium and the size effect in the Australian market. Using company-specific accounting information from annual reports and contemporaneous stock prices for 98% of all Australian listed firms during 1982-2006 (25 years), they conclude that: Keep Reading

Momentum Returns for Large Caps

Are momentum trading strategies reliable and economically significant after trading frictions for large-capitalization stocks? In his November 2006 paper entitled “Alpha Generating Momentum Strategies”, Gregor Obrecht test 32 momentum trading strategies on large-capitalization U.S. stocks. The strategies encompass all combinations of: formation periods of three, six, nine and 12 months; wait periods of zero months and one month; and, holding periods of three, six, nine and 12 months. Using monthly returns for S&P 100 stocks over the period 12/85-8/06, he concludes that: Keep Reading

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