Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Accrual Anomaly: Risk or Mispricing?

Hou, Kewei and Hirshleifer, David and Teoh, Siew Hong (2007): The Accrual Anomaly: Risk or Mispricing?


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We document considerable return comovement associated with accruals after controlling for other common factors. An accrual-based factor-mimicking portfolio has a Sharpe ratio of 0.16, higher than that of the market factor or the SMB and HML factors of Fama and French (1993). In time series regressions, a model that includes the Fama-French factors and the additional accrual factor captures the accrual anomaly in average returns. However, further time series and cross-sectional tests indicate that it is the accrual characteristic rather than the accrual factor loading that predicts returns. These findings favor a behavioral explanation for the accrual anomaly.

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