The Value of Visibility

72 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2015 Last revised: 7 Jan 2019

See all articles by Alexander Hillert

Alexander Hillert

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance

Michael Ungeheuer

Aalto University School of Business

Date Written: February 27, 2018


We analyze the relation between firm visibility and stock returns, using a novel dataset on New York Times coverage of U.S. firms from 1924 to 2013. We find that firms with persistently higher levels of media coverage exhibit predictably higher returns. Top-quintile outperform bottom-quintile coverage stocks by 2.64% per year (Sharpe Ratio of 0.47, Momentum: 0.47). Higher media coverage predicts significant improvements in corporate governance, as well as higher sales growth and profitability growth. Thus, the evidence is consistent with visibility creating value through monitoring and advertising, while stock markets inadequately price the positive effects of firm visibility.

Keywords: Media Coverage, Visibility, Returns, Corporate Governance, Profitability

JEL Classification: G12, G14

Suggested Citation

Hillert, Alexander and Ungeheuer, Michael, The Value of Visibility (February 27, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Alexander Hillert (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance ( email )

House of Finance
Grueneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60323

Michael Ungeheuer

Aalto University School of Business ( email )

P.O.Box 21210
Aalto, 00076


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