This paper's aim is to examine the risk‐adjusted market performance of an overall franchise and three sub‐sector franchise common stock portfolios from 1990 through 2008.
Four sets of franchise sector portfolios are constructed, their returns are calculated, and their performances relative to three market benchmarks are evaluated using the Sharpe ratio and Jensen's α.
The all franchise portfolio significantly outperformed the three market benchmarks. Among the sector portfolios, the services and restaurant portfolios also outperformed the market benchmarks, but not the lodging portfolio. Results support the theoretical hypothesis that franchising may provide superior advantages to investors and point to a possible “franchising anomaly”. Investors consider franchise firms to be less risky than the average publicly traded firms and therefore require a lower rate of return.
The results of the study suggest that in the past, franchise managers may have paid a much higher cost of capital than warranted by their firms' risk characteristics. Study results also have positive implications for franchise firms' access to capital and for evaluating franchise managers' compensation arrangements. Investors should consider allocating a portion of their investible funds to franchise stocks. Many lodging firms may not have taken full advantage of the benefits of franchising to reduce their financial risks. Restaurant firms may further improve their financial performance by selling their riskier units.
This is the first comprehensive study of the risk‐adjusted market performance of franchise firms over an extended period of time covering a variety of economic conditions that also analyzes the risk‐adjusted performance of the main business subcategories in franchising.