Expected Earnings Growth, Stock Valuation and Investor Sentiment

57 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2011 Last revised: 20 May 2012

Date Written: May 1, 2012


The sensitivity of stock valuations to expected earnings growth, termed as the growth premium, fluctuates substantially over time. This study empirically investigates whether these fluctuations can be explained by investor sentiment. The testable prediction is that investor sentiment affects the growth premium, causing expected earnings growth to be valued differently. The results show that expected earnings growth is valued high (low) in periods in which measures of investor sentiment are high (low). The effect of sentiment on the growth premium is documented both in the cross section of individual stocks and at the aggregate market level. Moreover, future return patterns based on growth-related characteristics are consistent with the hypothesis that sentiment causes the mispricing of stocks whose earnings are expected to grow quickly, and of stocks whose growth is valued at extreme levels. The impact of sentiment on the growth premium is robust after controlling for recognized proxies for risk premia.

Keywords: stock valuation, earnings growth, mispricing, investor sentiment

JEL Classification: G12, M41

Suggested Citation

Gao, Zhan, Expected Earnings Growth, Stock Valuation and Investor Sentiment (May 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1928508 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1928508

Zhan Gao (Contact Author)

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom
44-1524-593-151 (Phone)

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