2004-03 FIN: Analyst Forecast Dispersion and Future Stock Return Volatility (Working Paper Abstract)
Kalimipally, M., & Athanassakos, G.
published: 2004 | Research publication | Working Paper - Finance
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we examine the relationship between analysts' forecast dispersion and future stock return volatility using monthly data for a cross section of 160 US firms from 1981 to 1996. We find that there is a strong and positive relationship between analysts' forecast dispersion and future return volatility. The dispersion measure has incremental information content even after accounting for market volatility. These results are robust across sub-sample periods and sub-samples based on based on number of analysts following a firm, forecast dispersion and market capitalization. There is also a strong seasonal relationship between the dispersion measure and future volatility. The importance of dispersion on future return volatility is high in January and the first few months of the year, and declines thereafter, with the decline intensifying in the second half of the year. Such information content of analysts' earnings forecast dispersion is of great importance for active portfolio management, option pricing and arbitrage trading strategies.
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