Corporate Real Estate Holdings and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns
Posted: 17 May 2010
Date Written: June 2010
This article explores the link between the composition of firms’ capital and stock returns. I develop a general equilibrium production economy where firms use two factors: real estate and other capital. Investment is subject to asymmetric adjustment costs. Because real estate depreciates slowly, firms with high real estate holdings are more vulnerable to bad productivity shocks and hence are riskier and have higher expected returns. This prediction is supported empirically. I find that the returns of firms with a high share of real estate capital exceed that of low real estate firms by 3-6% annually, adjusted for exposures to the market return, size, value, and momentum factors. Moreover, conditional beta estimates reveal that these firms indeed have higher market betas, and the spread between the betas of high and low real estate firms is countercyclical.
Keywords: D21, D92, E22, E44, G12, R33
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