The Value of Visibility

88 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2015 Last revised: 19 Mar 2021

See all articles by Alexander Hillert

Alexander Hillert

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance

Michael Ungeheuer

Aalto University

Date Written: March 19, 2021


We analyze the relation between firm visibility and stock returns using comprehensive data on news coverage of U.S. firms ranging from 1924 to 2019. Carefully controlling for firm characteristics, we find that firms with persistently higher levels of visibility exhibit predictably higher returns. Visibility also predicts improvements in corporate governance, higher sales and profitability growth. The visibility return premium is driven by earnings announcement months and industry-years when the visibility-fundamentals sensitivity is high. 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 (March 19, 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

Michael Ungeheuer

Aalto University ( email )

P.O.Box 21210
Aalto, 00076


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