Oil Prices, Earnings, and Stock Returns
Review of Accounting Studies
54 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2017 Last revised: 6 May 2020
Date Written: May 1, 2020
Prior research has failed to document a consistent association between oil prices and stock prices. We propose and examine whether that failure is due to the need to link oil price changes to firm-level changes in earnings and investments. We find that the impact of oil prices on a firm’s earnings and investments varies significantly by industry and by whether the firm is an oil producer or oil consumer. Nevertheless, firm fixed effects explain more than ten times the variation between oil prices and firm performance/investments than industry and time fixed effects combined, indicating that aggregation by industry and time can mask the unique impact of oil prices on an individual firm’s earnings and investments. We also find that investors react more strongly to oil-related earnings than non-oil-related earnings, particularly for oil consumers. Investor reaction to oil-related earnings also spills over to the stock prices of industry peers. By providing a firm-level mapping of the impact of oil prices on performance/ investments and stock prices, our paper extends prior studies that examine the impact of oil prices on the aggregate economy and stock markets.
Keywords: Oil Price, Commodity Markets, Earnings, Financial Markets
JEL Classification: G0, M40, Q02, D53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation