Accounting Information for Stock Market Efficiency

This thesis contributes to the discussion on the importance of accounting information for stock market efficiency. As any analysis of market efficiency depends on the use of adequate risk proxies, the thesis first investigates the ability of commonly used risk factors to explain the cross-sectional variation of Swedish stock returns. The findings suggest that capturing risk is indeed very complicated, as neither CAPM beta nor size and book-to-market equity ratio are significantly associated with realized monthly returns. The relative bid-ask spread is found to be the strongest of all the analyzed factors; nevertheless it does not seem to be related to momentum in the manner predicted in the conceptual argument presented earlier in the paper.Second, the thesis documents that simple accounting summary measures, such as earnings and book value of equity, can be used as benchmarks for the identification of mispriced stocks. Contrarian investment strategies (CISs) based on these simple measures earn a substantial value premium of 11-14%. In addition, we find that their effectiveness is compromised by noise that is caused by transitory earnings and accounting conservatism. Controlling for these factors increases the magnitude of the value premium and improves the consistency of the CIS. This suggests that the information reflected in key accounting measures is not fully reflected in stock prices.Finally, this thesis shows that the structure of accounting information matters too. It documents that the transition from the Swedish GAAP to IFRS in 2005 not only changed the average goodwill charges reported by companies, but also affected valuation of goodwill-intensive companies…

Contents

Introduction
Research Question
Efficient Market Hypothesis
Theoretical Foundation
Use of the EMH for Theory Building
Methodological Challenges in Testing EM
Factors Capturing Risk
Empirically Discovered Risk Proxies
Paper 1
Empirical Tests of EMH
Anomalies to Market Efficiency
Inefficient Markets?
Paper 2
Introduction of IFRS in Europe
Value Relevance Studies
Research on IFRS Adoption
Goodwill Reporting
Paper 3
Conclusions
References

Author: Novak, Jiri

Source: Uppsala University Library

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Accounting Information for Stock Market Efficiency