Short Interests, Fundamental Analysis, and Stock Returns
35 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 1999
Date Written: May 1999
Firms with low ratios of fundamentals (such as earnings and book values) to market values are known to have systematically lower future stock returns. We document that short-sellers position themselves in the stock of such firms, and then cover their positions as the ratios revert to normal levels. We also show that short-sellers avoid firms where the transaction costs of short-selling are high and where the low ratios are due to temporarily low fundamentals, rather than temporarily high prices. Our evidence suggest that short-sellers use information in these ratios about either (i) temporary mispricing, or (ii) unknown risk factors, to boost their investment returns.
JEL Classification: G12, G14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation