The Long-Term Price-Earnings Ratio
31 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2005
Date Written: May 2005
The price-earnings effect has been thoroughly documented and widely studied around the world. However, in existing research it has almost exclusively been calculated on the basis of the previous year's earnings. We show that the power of the effect has until now been seriously underestimated, due to taking too short-term a view of earnings. We look at all UK companies since 1975, and using the traditional P/E ratio we find the difference in average annual returns between the value and glamour deciles to be 6%, similar to other authors' findings. We are able to almost double the value premium by calculating P/E ratios using earnings averaged over the last eight years. Averaging, however, implies equal weights for each past year. We further enhance the premium by optimising the weights of the past years of earnings in constructing the P/E ratio.
Keywords: price-earning ratios, value investing, arbitrage strategy, UK stock market, value premium
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14
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