NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Diversification Discount: Cash Flows vs. Returns

Owen Lamont, Christopher Polk

NBER Working Paper No. 7396
Issued in October 1999
NBER Program(s):   AP   CF   ME

Diversified firms have different values than comparable portfolios of single-segment firms. These value differences must be due to differences in either future cash flows or future returns. Expected security returns on diversified firms vary systematically with relative value. Discount firms have significantly higher subsequent returns than premium firms. Slightly more than half of the cross-sectional variation in excess values is due to variation in expected future cash flows, with the remainder due to variation in expected future returns and to covariation between cash flow and returns.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7396

Published: Lamont, Owen A. and Christopher Polk. "The Diversification Discount: Cash Flows Versus Returns," Journal of Finance, 2001, v56(5,Oct), 1693-1721.

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