NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Value Spread as a Predictor of Returns

Naiping Lu, Lu Zhang

NBER Working Paper No. 11326
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):   AP

Recent studies have used the value spread to predict aggregate stock returns to construct cash-flow betas that appear to explain the size and value anomalies. We show that two related variables, the book-to-market spread (the book-to-market of value stocks minus that of growth stocks) and the market-to-book spread (the market-to-book of growth stocks minus that of value stocks) predict returns in different directions and exhibit opposite cyclical variations. Most important, the value spread mixes information on the book-to-market and market-to-book spreads, and appears much less useful in predicting returns.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11326

Published: Liu, Naiping & Zhang, Lu, 2008. "Is the value spread a useful predictor of returns?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 199-227, August.

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