Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Accruals and Aggregate Stock Market Returns

Hirshleifer, David and Hou, Kewei and Teoh, Siew Hong (2007): Accruals and Aggregate Stock Market Returns.

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Abstract

Past research has shown that the level of operating accruals is a negative cross-sectional predictor of stock returns. This paper examines whether the accrual anomaly extends to the aggregate stock market. In contrast with cross-sectional findings, there is no indication that aggregate operating accruals is a negative time series predictor of stock market returns; the relation is strongly positive for the market portfolio and also for several sector and industry portfolios. In addition, innovations in accruals are negatively contemporaneously associated with market returns, suggesting that changes in accruals contain information about changes in discount rates, or that firms manage earnings in response to market-wide undervaluation.

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