Time-varying Media Coverage and Stock Returns

43 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 22 Mar 2021

See all articles by Hannan Zheng

Hannan Zheng

Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics

Date Written: March 22, 2021


I show that news editors have state-dependent preference for different types of firms. Using the New York Times data and natural language processing techniques, I estimate the loadings of media coverage on eight common features of firms and construct the corresponding editor preference. I find that firms with higher editor preference earn higher returns than those with lower preference on average. It is consistent with the theory that if investors delegate their information selection to news editors, the state-dependent coverage decisions signal risky features and hence related firms are required more risk compensation. This excess return cannot be explained by mainstream risk factors and has an annualized alpha around 12%. Although this excess return is robust among more firms that are out of the scope of news data, it is bound to a short time horizon.

Keywords: asset pricing, media coverage, risk factor

JEL Classification: G12, G14

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Hannan, Time-varying Media Coverage and Stock Returns (March 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3748892 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3748892

Hannan Zheng (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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