The size effect assumes a negative relationship between average stock returns and firm size. In other words, it states that low capitalization stocks outperform stocks with large capitalization. Academics propose several possible explanations why this happens, including greater flexibility of small firms, more space for them to grow and higher inside innovation.
Although generally accepted, the size effect keeps being challenged. Researchers have been asking how important the firm size characteristic actually is, and whether it is possible to replace the traditional size factor of Fama and French asset pricing model (1993) with more accurate factor. Recently, one potential challenger has emerged – so-called takeover factor, employed by Easterwood et al. (2022). In their study, they work on the assumption that small firms are often targets of takeovers, which gives us a different perspective on merger and acquisition news in regards to size effect. Their results show that M&A component of average returns explains the size premium entirely; returns on takeover factor are in correlation with SMB returns, and finally, while takeover factor models are able to estimate the size factor, it does not work the other way around.
To sum it all up, according to research of Easterwood et al. (2022), takeover factor should replace the conventional size factor in benchmark asset pricing models as merger announcement component of returns drives the entire measured size premium.
Authors: Sara Easterwood, Jeffry Netter, Bradley Paye, Michael Stegemoller
Title: Taking Over the Size Effect: Asset Pricing Implications of Merger Activity
We show that merger announcement returns account for virtually all of the measured size premium. An empirical proxy for ex ante takeover exposure positively and robustly relates to cross-sectional expected returns. The relation between size and expected returns becomes positive or insignificant, rather than negative, conditional on this takeover characteristic. Asset pricing models that include a factor based on the takeover characteristic outperform otherwise similar models that include the conventional size factor. We conclude that the takeover factor should replace the conventional size factor in benchmark asset pricing models.
Visit Quantpedia to read the full article: https://quantpedia.com/takeover-factor-explains-the-size-effect/.
Disclosure: Interactive Brokers
Information posted on IBKR Traders’ Insight that is provided by third-parties and not by Interactive Brokers does NOT constitute a recommendation by Interactive Brokers that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Traders’ Insight are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
This material is from Quantpedia and is being posted with permission from Quantpedia. The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or Quantpedia and IBKR is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
In accordance with EU regulation: The statements in this document shall not be considered as an objective or independent explanation of the matters. Please note that this document (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination or publication of investment research.
Any trading symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray recommendations.