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Finding a Healthy Value Premium

| | Posted in: Value Premium

Is there a way to restore confidence in a value premium? In their September 2020 paper entitled "Resurrecting the Value Premium", David Blitz and Matthias Hanauer seek a reliable value premium via three adjustments to the conventional high-minus-low book-to-market ratio (HML) metric:

  1. Augment book-to-market ratio with three other value signals: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization divided by enterprise value (EBITDA/EV); cash flow-to-price ratio (CF/P); and, net payout yield (NPY), essentially dividend yield plus share buybacks minus share issuance. Create a composite value score by normalizing each metric cross-sectionally (excluding financial stocks) using z-scores and then average individual z-scores.
  2. For developed markets, impose industry neutrality by independently ranking stocks within each of 11 sectors. For emerging markets impose neutrality at the country level.
  3. To assure liquidity, consider a universe of all stocks in the standard (large/mid-capitalization) MSCI indexes at that moment. Exploit this liquidity by using equal-weighted portfolios sorted into fifths (quintiles) by composite value score.

Using the specified value metric data, associated stock returns and returns for other standard equity factors as available through June 2020, they find that:

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