Investor Sentiment, Customer Satisfaction and Stock Returns
European Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming
2 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2014 Last revised: 5 Jan 2015
Date Written: December 20, 2014
Purpose: This study aims to investigate whether and how various sentiments affect the stock market’s reaction to the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) information.
Design/methodology/approach: The portfolio approach with time-varying risk factor loadings and the asset-pricing models are borrowed from the finance literature to investigate the ACSI-performance relationship. A direct sentiment index is employed to examine how investors’ optimistic, neutral and pessimistic sentiments affect the aforementioned relation.
Findings: This paper finds that customer satisfaction is a valuable intangible asset that generates positive abnormal returns. On average, investing in the Strong-ACSI Portfolio is superior to investing in the market index. Even when the stock market holds pessimistic beliefs, investors can beat the market by investing in firms that score well on customer satisfaction. The outperformance of our zero-cost long-short ACSI strategy also confirms the mispricing of ACSI information in pessimistic periods.
Research limitations/implications: Findings are limited to firms covered by the ACSI data.
Practical implications: Finance research has further documented evidence of the stock market under-reacting to intangible information. For example, firms with higher research and development expenditures, advertising, patent citations, and employee satisfaction all earn superior returns. Literature also proves that investors efficiently react to tangible information, whereas they undervalue intangible information. In summary, combining our results and those reported in the literature, customer satisfaction is value-relevant for both investors and firm management, particularly in pessimistic periods.
Originality/value: This study is the first to investigate how sentiment affects the positive ACSI-performance relationship, while considering the time-varying property of risk factors. This study is also the first to show that ACSI plays a more important role during pessimistic periods. This study contributes to the growing literature on the marketing-finance interface by providing a better understanding of how investor emotional states affect their perceptions and valuations of customer satisfaction.
Keywords: customer satisfaction, investor sentiment, Mispricing, Abnormal return, Fama-French three-factor model
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