We examine whether stock prices fully value firms' intangible assets, specifically research and development (R&D). Under current U.S. accounting standards, financial statements do not report intangible assets and R&D spending is expensed. Nonetheless, the average historical stock returns of firms doing R&D matches the returns of firms without R&D. However, the market is apparently too pessimistic about beaten-down R&D-intensive technology stocks' prospects. Companies with high R&D to equity market value (which tend to have poor past returns) earn large excess returns. A similar relation exists between advertising and stock returns. R&D intensity is positively associated with return volatility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics