Bridge over ocean
1 January 2017 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 73, Issue 1

Are Cash Flows Better Stock Return Predictors Than Profits?

  1. Stephen R. Foerster
  2. John Tsagarelis
  3. Grant Wang

Although various income statement–based measures predict the cross section of stock returns, direct method cash flow measures have even stronger predictive power. We transform indirect method cash flow statements into disaggregated and more direct estimates of cash flows from operations and other sources and form portfolios on the basis of these measures. Stocks in the highest-cash-flow decile outperform those in the lowest by over 10% annually (risk adjusted). Our results are robust to investment horizons and across risk factors and sector controls. We also show that, in addition to operating cash flow information, cash taxes and capital expenditures provide incremental predictive power.

Read the Complete Article in Financial Analysts Journal Financial Analysts Journal CFA Institute Member Content

We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings.  Otherwise, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Accepting cookies does not mean that we are collecting personal data. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.