The value-growth effect is one of the most pervasive patterns in stock prices. In this study, the ability of four proxies for value-growth, book-to-market, sales-to-price, earnings-to-price and cash-flow-to-price to explain equity returns is analysed. The findings show that in aggregate, book-to-market best explains cross-sectional variation in Australian equity returns, which in isolation suggests that it is the superior proxy for value-growth. The analysis is taken further and the value-growth effect is examined separately in positive and negative earnings firms. After segregating firms, it is found that in the negative earnings sample, book-to-market is the best value-growth proxy and in the positive earnings sample, cash-flow-to-price has the highest level of significance and is thus the superior value-growth proxy. The economic significance of this result is telling, as the firms that report positive earnings are much larger than those that report negative earnings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)