Asset growth and stock return: evidence in the Brazilian market

Márcio André Veras Machado*, Robert William Faff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Empirical evidence suggests that firms which have experienced fast growth, through increased external funding and by making capital investments and acquisitions, tend to show bad operating performance and lower stock returns, whereas firms that have experienced contraction, through divestiture, share repurchase and debt retirement, tend to show good operating performance and higher stock returns. So, this study aimed to analyze the relationship between asset growth and stock return in the Brazilian stock market, and it tested the hypothesis that asset growth is negatively related to future stock return. To do this, the methodology was divided into 3 steps: verifying 1) if asset growth anomaly exists; 2) if this relation may be explained by the investment friction hypothesis and/or by the limits-to-arbitrage hypothesis; and 3) if asset growth is a risk factor or mispricing. In addition, the analysis was carried out both at a portfolio level and an individual assets level. The sample included all the non-financial firms listed at B3 from June 1997 to June 2014. As for the main results, this study found that the asset growth effect exists, both at the portfolio level and the individual assets level, although it is sensitive to the proxy. About the effect's materiality, this study concluded that the asset growth effect is not economically relevant, since it is not observed in big firms, regardless of the proxy used, a fact that makes it difficult to explore this effect. Another finding is that the asset growth effect may not be related to the limits-to-arbitrage hypothesis and to the financial constraint hypothesis; also, this effect may be considered a risk factor, suggesting that the investment effect documented in the Brazilian stock market may be explained by the rational asset pricing perspective. Therefore, capital market professionals should take into account the asset growth factor in asset pricing models for better investment risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-434
Number of pages17
JournalRevista Contabilidade e Financas
Issue number78
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


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