This paper provides a selective survey of Ohlson and Vuolteenaho-type accounting valuation models. The focus is on the valuation, return, and cost of capital dynamics of these models. Emphasis is placed primarily on variations of these models that incorporate risk aversion, parameter uncertainty, and/or time-varying costs of equity. Empirical papers that address the dynamics of these models are also surveyed.

]]>We extend Easton's (2007) review of the literature on accounting-based estimates of the expected rate of return on equity capital, which we refer to as the ERR. We begin by reiterating the reasons why accounting-based estimates are used. Next, we briefly review the recent literature that focuses on improving forecasts of expected earnings by either (i) removing predictable errors from analysts’ forecasts of earnings or (ii) developing cross-sectional regression-based estimates of earnings using prior-period financial data. In the remainder of our review we discuss a recent debate on methods for evaluating estimates of the ERR. We highlight the key points in the debate so that the reader will find it easier to form an independent view of the relative merits of the proposed methods.

]]>This paper examines three basic equity valuation concepts: (1) residual income valuation (RIV); (2) in the spirit of Miller-Modigliani, the irrelevance of a firm's dividend payout policy; (3) betas/CAPM, to quantify risk and capitalization factors. As a first cut, results show that RIV, concept (1), lacks empirical support while in contrast concepts (2) and (3) hold up reasonably well. To address (2) and (3) we develop a model where earnings and earnings growth determine value. This model supplants RIV because of its greater intuitive appeal and empirical support. A linear function of eps1, eps2, dps1 maps into stock prices and theory specifies the coefficients’ admissible magnitudes. Both the concepts of dividend payout irrelevance and risk (cost-of-equity per CAPM) restrict the coefficients. Bvps is value-irrelevant, in both the analytical and empirical analyses. The latter can be viewed as a case study; it considers S&P500 firms at two points in time, and the data was hand-collected in real time from a public website (Yahoo!Finance). This scheme ensures perfectly synchronized data and it usefully provides not only consensus forecasts but also real time betas. Overall, the paper contributes by developing valuation concepts and by showing how these can be evaluated empirically.

]]>Under accounting principles, the recognition of earnings is path-dependent and the path depends on risk and its resolution: under the so-called realization principle, earnings are not booked until uncertainty is resolved. In asset pricing terms, the principle means that earnings cannot be recognized until the firm can book a low-beta asset such as cash or a near-cash discounted receivable. If the risk to which this accounting responds is priced risk, the accounting indicates the expected return. This paper connects accounting under this principle to risk and return, summarizes the supporting empirical evidence, and examines the implications for research on the implied cost of capital, cash-flow betas, asset pricing models that imbed accounting numbers, and papers that assume an autoregressive model for the earnings path to infer the expected return. The accounting that captures risk and its resolution also has implications for the unsolved issue of specifying the appropriate accounting for accounting-based valuation models and, indeed, for financial accounting standards.

]]>We investigate whether stock prices reflect the asymmetric persistence of accruals and cash flows resulting from conditional conservatism. Using the Mishkin () test (MT), we provide further evidence on the earnings fixation explanation for the accrual anomaly. We also apply panel estimation techniques that significantly affect market efficiency inferences. Our results suggest that over our sample period (i) investors seem to partially anticipate asymmetric persistence in accruals and cash flows, (ii) the accrual anomaly originates in the mispricing of accruals in years of economic gains, even though the differential persistence between accruals and cash flows is greatest in years of economic losses, (iii) investors respond differently to accrual and cash flow surprises and, therefore, they do not naively fixate on earnings surprises, and (iv) after clustering standard errors in the MT by firm and year dimensions, there is no longer evidence of cash flow mispricing, while the statistical significance of accrual mispricing falls. All our findings contradict the earnings fixation explanation for the accrual anomaly. Our study has implications for understanding the accrual anomaly in relation to accrual dynamics, as well as for researchers interested in using the MT framework to test the rationality of investor expectations more generally.

]]>This paper shows how the expected rate of return (ERR) on equity may be estimated using only published accounting results, based on the information dynamics of reported earnings. As accounting-based valuation models conditional upon financial statement articulation lead to a rank deficient system of estimating equations, the paper introduces a nonlinear constraint on the articulation that allows the information system simultaneously to produce an estimate for the ERR by iteration, together with predictions for the key clean surplus forecasts of net earnings, net dividend, and the book value of equity. Further decomposition produces estimates of expected capital gain, expected earnings, and the expected change in equity book value, and by rearrangement, the expected change in unrecorded goodwill. The clean surplus relation is maintained in the forecast variables. Exploratory data methods are used to examine the nonlinear relationship between components of the accounting-based ERR and realized stock returns. Findings show that realized returns are higher (lower) than estimated ERR in expansionary (recessionary) periods, with evidence of a stronger returns impact in recessionary periods. For the large majority of firms, realized returns revert to the estimated ERR, and the time-varying accounting components are strongly related to future realized stock returns, consistent with time variation in the ERR around a long-run average. Predicted earnings and dividends provide useful additional information on short-run variations in the ERR.

]]>Christodoulou *et al*. () develop measures of the cost of equity capital that require only accounting inputs, using as an identification strategy the linear information dynamics of Feltham and Ohlson (). I propose to test these measures by evaluating the predictability of innovations to abnormal earnings using various predetermined variables. The over-identifying restrictions of this model require these innovations not to be predictable. Using a generalized model, I observe that the estimated measures are probably too low. I conjecture that this anomaly, which occurs jointly with a positive drift in abnormal earnings, is caused by the omission of economic assets such as intangibles.