Research in Finance: Volume 28

Table of contents

(15 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Introduction

Pages ix-x

The current volume in the Research in Finance series features an international set of contributors. The overall theme of the volume is a timely topic: “Dealing with Volatility and Enhancing Performance.”

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Because VIX has a negative correlation to the S&P 500 index and a number of hedge fund strategies, the literature has suggested that long positions in VIX can reduce the risk and higher moment exposures of these investments. However, the VIX index is not tradeable. VIX futures are traded, but have materially different performance from the VIX index. The front month futures underperformed by over 4% per month between March 2004 and July 2009. Over this time period, the front month futures had a correlation of 0.84 to, and a volatility 60% of that of, the VIX index. The second month futures contract underperformed by almost 1% per month with a correlation of 0.76 and a standard deviation of only 40% of the VIX index. While a significant negative risk premium exists in VIX futures, the attractive positive skewness and excess kurtosis properties of the futures are similar to those of the index. Both VIX futures and the VIX index are asymmetric, rising more quickly as the S&P 500 index falls and falling more slowly as stock prices rise.

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Stock selection models often use momentum and analysts’ expectation data. We find that earnings forecast revisions and direction of forecast revisions are more important than analysts’ forecasts in identifying mispriced securities. Investing with expectations data and momentum variables is consistent with maximizing the geometric mean and Sharpe ratio over the long run. Additional evidence is revealed that supports the use of multifactor models for portfolio construction and risk control. The anomalies literature can be applied in real-world portfolio construction in the U.S., international, and global equity markets during the 1998–2009 time period. Support exists for the use of tracking error at risk estimation procedures.

While perfection cannot be achieved in portfolio creation and modeling, the estimated model returns pass the Markowitz and Xu data mining corrections test and are statistically different from an average financial model that could have been used to select stocks and form portfolios. We found additional evidence to support the use of Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT) and statistically-based and fundamentally-based multifactor models for portfolio construction and risk control. Markets are neither efficient nor grossly inefficient; statistically significant excess returns can be earned.

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Although employee stock ownership may result in increased cash flows due to enhanced organizational productivity or improved governance, this benefit is counterbalanced by the increased risk premium due to a higher correlation between the returns to the firm and the returns to human capital in general. For corporations that employ people with commonplace skills, employee stock ownership results in increased systematic risk, so the optimal level of employee stock ownership is small. When skills are unique, however (so the returns have low correlation with the returns to human capital in general), the optimal level of employee stock ownership is high, with strong incentives for outsourcing – not just the routine easily repeatable tasks but also research, product development, and other highly specialized tasks requiring knowledge not present within the firm. These conclusions hold even without conflicts of interest between owners and employees, but are strengthened in the presence of such conflicts. Incentives for greater employee ownership are further strengthened by the higher costs of becoming or remaining a public corporation that have been imposed by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002. This analysis provides a framework for optimizing employee incentives from stock ownership.

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Some firms choose not to use an investment bank advisor in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions. We test whether this decision affects the merger announcement period returns. We compare the abnormal returns from a sample of 179 in-house acquisitions (in which either the acquirer or the target firm does not hire an investment bank advisor) to those of a matched sample of acquisitions (in which all firms hire an investment bank advisor). We find that not employing a financial advisor has no significant effect on the abnormal returns of acquiring firms but does reduce the abnormal returns of target firms. This relation holds even after controlling for various firm and merger characteristics.

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Perhaps the most difficult objection raised by skeptics of the real options approach concerns the apparent lack of market transactions that would verify that real options have actual value. Although there are no organized exchanges with publicly disclosed prices, there are nevertheless several mechanisms for buying and selling real options. Observing these could offer important advantages in the quest for enhancing the role of real options in financial decision making:•demonstrate that real options can indeed add value•in some cases even gain a sense of the amount of value added by real options•offer expert appraisers methods for improved estimation of the value of a business when real options are part of the organizational capital

The most frequently used method for buying or selling real options occurs when a product that includes real options is sold to customers (often at a premium above the price of a comparable product that does not include real options). Real options that are part of the organizational capital of a business are part of the package in an acquisition (or minority equity position). In this chapter we examine several cases of such transactions.

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We develop two new measures for assessing project uncertainty in sensitivity/scenario analyses. For sensitivity analysis, we develop the “Z% Elasticity Coefficient,” building on the elasticity concept in economics. For scenario analyses, we develop the “Proportionate Range.” Both are substitutes for employing mean–variance (of Net Present Value or NPV) analysis, which has been criticized for assessing project uncertainty. The appendix provides examples of computing each measure for a hypothetical project.

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Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) is a nonprofit regional transmission organization (RTO) that oversees electricity production and transmission across 13 states and 1 Canadian province. MISO also operates an electronic exchange for buying and selling electricity for each of its five regional hubs.

MISO oversees two types of markets. The forward market, which is referred to as the day-ahead (DA) market, allows market participants to place demand bids and supply offers on electricity to be delivered at a specified hour the following day. The equilibrium price, known as the locational marginal price (LMP), is determined by MISO after receiving sale offers and purchase bids from market participants. MISO also coordinates a spot market, which is known as the real-time (RT) market. Traders in the RT market must submit bids and offers by 30minutes prior to the hour for which the trade will be executed. After receiving purchase and sale offers for a given hour in the RT market, MISO then determines the LMP for that particular hour.

The existence of the DA and RT markets allows producers and retailers to hedge against the large fluctuations that are common in electricity prices. Hedge ratios on the MISO exchange are estimated using various techniques. No hedge ratio technique examined consistently outperforms the unhedged portfolio in terms of variance reduction. Consequently, none of the hedge ratio methods in this study meet the general interpretation of FASB guidelines for a highly effective hedge.

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Representation of women on boards is getting more and more attention these recent years (Hillman, Shropshire, & Cannella, 2007; Nielsen & Huse, 2010), all the more as recent influence by the legislator accelerates the pace of change. Indeed, in France, a new law adopted in January 2011 stated that the proportion of female directors should not be lower than 40% in all major companies.

Most previous research focused on the impact of the presence of women in boards on performance, but there are few studies on female directors' networks. In order to help to better understand the ties at the origin of these networks, we study several characteristics and network ties of female directors of French companies belonging to the SBF 120 index and we compare them with male characteristics. We test the specificity of four types of board of directors' networks: attendance at the same elite educational institutions, use of business networks, civil servants' networks, and interlocking directorates.

Our findings suggest that female directors' networks tend to find their origin in business networks more than men. Conversely, male directors have more board interlocking and are more often graduated from elite schools than women. These results show that female directors' networks have specific origins in comparison with men's ones. The exploration of this specificity could be an asset to better understand the role and influence of female directors' networks in governance.

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Several studies have observed that stocks tend to drop by an amount that is less than the dividend on the ex-dividend day, the so-called ex-dividend day anomaly. However, there still remains a lack of consensus for a single explanation of this anomaly. Different from other studies, this dissertation attempts to answer the primary research question: how can investors make trading profits from the ex-dividend day anomaly and how much can they earn? With this goal, I examine the economic motivations of equity investors through four main hypotheses identified in the anomaly's literature: the tax differential hypothesis, the short-term trading hypothesis, the tick size hypothesis, and the leverage hypothesis.

While the U.S. ex-dividend anomaly is well studied, I examine a long data window (1975–2010) of Thailand data. The unique structure of the Thai stock market allows me to assess all four main hypotheses proposed in the literature simultaneously. Although I extract the sample data from two data sources, I demonstrate that the combined data are consistently sampled. I further construct three trading strategies – “daily return,” “lag one daily return,” and “weekly return” – to alleviate the potential effect of irregular data observation.

I find that the ex-dividend day anomaly exists in Thailand, is governed by the tax differential, and is driven by short-term trading activities. That is, investors trade heavily around the ex-dividend day to reap the benefits of the tax differential. I find mixed results for the predictions of the tick size hypothesis and results that are inconsistent with the predictions of the leverage hypothesis.

I conclude that, on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, juristic and foreign investors can profitably buy stocks cum-dividend and sell them ex-dividend while local investors should engage in short sale transactions. On average, investors who employ the daily return strategy have earned significant abnormal return up to 0.15% (45.66% annualized rate) and up to 0.17% (50.99% annualized rate) for the lag one daily return strategy. Investors can also make a trading profit by conducting the weekly return strategy and earn up to 0.59% (35.67% annualized rate), on average.

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DOI
10.1108/S0196-3821(2012)28
Publication date
Book series
Research in Finance
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78052-752-9
eISBN
978-1-78052-753-6
Book series ISSN
0196-3821