A Factor Model of Company Relative Valuation
63 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2021
Date Written: October 7, 2020
Accurate company valuation is the starting point of value investing and corporate decisions. This paper proposes a statistical factor model to generate company valuation comparison across a large universe. The model scales the market value of a company by its book capital to generate a cross-sectionally comparable relative value target, constructs valuation factors by combining several descriptors from a similar category to increase coverage and reduce multicollinearity, and links industry classification and the valuation factors to the company relative value via a cross-sectional contemporaneous regression at each date. Historical analysis on U.S. publicly traded companies shows that the factor model explains a large proportion of the cross-sectional variation of company relative value and experiences little out-of-sample degeneration. The regression residual represents temporary company misvaluation, and can be exploited by both outside investors as attractive investment opportunities and internal management for market timing of corporate decisions.
Keywords: Company valuation; factor model; valuation factors; relative value ratio; market pricing of valuation factors; value investing; factor returns; market timing of financing decisions
JEL Classification: C51, G11, G12, G30
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