Firm Characteristics and Stock Price Levels: A Long-Term Discount Rate Perspective
54 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 16, 2021
We study how firm characteristics are correlated with stock price levels by measuring the long-term discount rates (defined as the internal rate of return) of anomaly portfolios over a long horizon. We develop a simple, non-parametric methodology to estimate the long-term equity discount rate from ex-post realized payouts and prices. Our estimates show that the cross-sectional patterns in the long-term discount rates can be substantially different from that of the average short-term holding period returns; and appealing to mean-reversion in anomaly premia does not reconcile the wedge between the two for a group of prominent anomalies. We argue that the long-term discount rate is a better measure of firm's equity financing cost than the premium from a dynamically-rebalanced trading strategy; and we demonstrate with a representative example that structural models that interpret the spreads in the latter as the differences in the former could generate counterfactual patterns in the long-term discount rates. Our empirical exercise uncovers numerous new stylized facts regarding firms' equity financing cost; and these findings could shed new light on the mechanisms underlying various asset pricing anomalies, and advance our understanding about the determinants of stock price levels.
Keywords: Stock Price Level, Discount Rate, Asset Pricing Anomaly
JEL Classification: G12, G31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation