The value-growth effect is one of the most pervasive patterns in stock prices. In this study, the ability of four proxies for value-growth, book-to-market, sales-to-price, earnings-to-price and cash-flow-to-price to explain equity returns is analysed. The findings show that in aggregate, book-to-market best explains cross-sectional variation in Australian equity returns, which in isolation suggests that it is the superior proxy for value-growth. The analysis is taken further and the value-growth effect is examined separately in positive and negative earnings firms. After segregating firms, it is found that in the negative earnings sample, book-to-market is the best value-growth proxy and in the positive earnings sample, cash-flow-to-price has the highest level of significance and is thus the superior value-growth proxy. The economic significance of this result is telling, as the firms that report positive earnings are much larger than those that report negative earnings.