The value‐premium is the empirical observation that “value” stocks (low market/book) have higher returns than “growth” stocks (high market/book). The purpose of this paper is to propose a new explanation for the value‐premium that the authors call the limits to growth hypothesis.
To guide the testing, a dynamic equity valuation model was used that has the property that profitability increases risk for value firms in anticipation of future growth‐leverage, whereas, profitability “covers” the capital expenditure costs of growth, which decreases risk for growth firms. Because the authors interpret dividends as a corporate response to growth‐limits, they test for this predicted differential relation between profitability and risk for value versus growth stocks with the returns of profitable dividend‐paying firms.
It is found that profitability increases returns to a greater extent for dividend‐paying value firms compared to dividend‐paying growth firms, which is consistent with a differential relation between profitability and risk. At the same time, it is also found that growth firms have lower returns than value firms.
The authors use the limits‐to‐growth hypothesis to explain why profitability can either increase or decrease risk. High‐profitability dividend‐paying growth firms have lower returns than low‐profitability dividend‐paying value firms. This value‐premium is consistent with the argument that high profitability “covers” the capital expenditure costs of growth, which decreases risk and, thus, returns. At the same time, profitability increases returns to a greater extent for value stocks compared to growth stocks, which is consistent with the hypothesis that profitability increases risk for value firms in anticipation of future growth‐leverage.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited