Option Return Predictability
66 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015 Last revised: 8 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 6, 2020
We uncover new return predictability in the cross-section of delta-hedged equity options. Expected returns of writing delta-hedged calls are negatively correlated with current stock price, firm profit margin and profitability, but positively correlated with firm cash holding, cash flow variance, new shares issuance, total external financing, distress risk, and dispersion of analyst forecasts. We develop ten option portfolio strategies that have annual Sharpe ratios above three and remain profitable after transaction costs. Their profits can be explained by two new option factors although stock market risk factors have little explanatory power. We examine the economic channels underlying option return predictability.
Keywords: Cross-section of equity options; delta-neutral call writing; return predictability; stock characteristics; option factor model
JEL Classification: G02, G12, G13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation