The Value of Visibility

94 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2015 Last revised: 28 Dec 2021

See all articles by Alexander Hillert

Alexander Hillert

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance; Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE

Michael Ungeheuer

Aalto University

Date Written: December 27, 2021


We analyze the relation between firm visibility and stock returns using comprehensive news coverage data of U.S. firms. Carefully controlling for firm characteristics, we find that persistently higher levels of firm visibility predict higher returns. Visibility also predicts higher sales and profitability growth, as well as improvements in corporate governance like, for example, enhanced performance-induced CEO turnover. The visibility return premium is concentrated in earnings announcement months and industry-years when the visibility-fundamentals sensitivity is high. Overall, the evidence is consistent with visibility creating value through a monitoring and advertising channel, while stock markets underprice the benefits 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 (December 27, 2021). 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

Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE ( email )

House of Finance
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
Frankfurt, 60323

Michael Ungeheuer

Aalto University ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
Helsinki, 00101


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