1 Discussion: In Search of Distress Risk and Default Risk, Shareholder Advantage, and Stock Returns Kent D. Daniel 1 1 Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Kellogg, Northwestern NYU/Moody s Credit Conference, 9 May, 2006
2 Two Views Two Views The Value Effect Distress Risk These papers address the same question: Can the distress premium can be explained by risk? These two papers provide opposite conclusions: Garlappi, Shu and Yan () argue that it can. Campbell, Hilscher and Szilagyi () argue that it cannot. I want to examine why they reach these conclusions. However, first let s review the history behind this question.
3 Background The Value Effect Two Views The Value Effect Distress Risk An important and controversial issue in the asset pricing field is the origin of the value premium. Historically, value (high book-to-market) stocks have earned higher returns than growth (low BM) stocks. A combination of the Fama-French value portfolio with the market portfolio provides a Sharpe Ratio of 0.80, versus 0.31 for the market alone.
4 The Value Effect Two Views The Value Effect Distress Risk 5 year Value L/S Returns, yr return (%) year
5 Value and Distress Two Views The Value Effect Distress Risk If the value effect is a rational risk premium, then the marginal investor must: have known that value firms would earn higher returns, have chosen not to hold more value because of the pattern of returns Fama and French (1993, 1996) argue that the value premium may result from firms loading on a distress factor. This explanation is consistent with, but not implied by, the lower past returns and lower past fundamental performance of value stocks. For example, the return on distressed stocks may covary with the return to human capital (Fama and French (1996)).
6 A Distress Factor? Two Views The Value Effect Distress Risk However, there are some problems with the FF distress hypothesis: First, Shumway (2001) argues that BM is a poor proxy for distress. Second, Dichev (1998) and others show that, with a better distress proxy, more distressed firms have lower, not higher future returns. Griffin and Lemmon (2002) find that the distress effect is strongest among growth stocks, where it is also most negatively related to default probability. Both Dichev and GL use the Ohlson (1980) model as a proxy for distress.
7 In Search of Distress Risk Campbell, Hilscher and Szilagyi Results Campbell, Hilscher and Szilagyi () use a new set of predictive variables to forecast future bankruptcy They fit this model to the Kamakura risk database of Chapter 7 and 11 events. Their model forecasts bankruptcies considerably better than other models. They also show that there is a strong negative relation between the risk of bankruptcy and abnormal returns (α). This is true even after conditioning on size and book-to-market
8 MKMV Distress Measure Results also examine the Moody s-kmv (Merton) distance-to-default (DD) measure. They find that adds little forecasting power, particularly at short horizons. The DD measure provides a pseudo-r 2 of 15.9% The structural model gives a pseudo-r 2 of 31.2% In multiple regressions, DD adds little to the structural model. This is consistent with the findings of Bharath and Shumway (2005).
14 Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications Default Risk, Shareholder Advantage, and Stock Returns by Garlappi, Shu and Yan The paper proposes both a theoretical model and new empirical tests. The model argues that the low returns of distressed stocks is a result of lower risk. The risk of distressed stocks is dependent on: 1 Shareholder Bargaining Power 2 Liquidation Costs The model is designed to show that, for high SBP and high liquidation cost firms, equity value will be less sensitive to underlying firm value movements. Thus the model predicts that the riskiness of the equity will fall as default risk increases.
15 Empirical Findings Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications Empirically, the authors find that the sign of E(r) EDF is in fact dependent on proxies for SBP and liquidation costs
16 Model Firm Value Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications 1 The value of the (all equity) firm follows GBM with constant E(r) = µ > r f and constant payout rate δ: dv t = (µ δ)v t dt + σv t db t 2 Firms have existing perpetual debt with a coupon of c. Paying this coupon results in a continuous tax shield of τc. 3 The firm value, including tax shields, is v(v t ) > V t.
17 Model Liquidation Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications 4 At liquidation, firm value drops by the fraction α i.e., V t (1 α)v t Absolute priority is followed on liquidation. In this model, the firm is never liquidated. 5 Upon entry to Chapter 11, the debt and equity holders enter a Nash bargaining game and renegotiate the value of their claimn (debt/equity). The gains to renegotiation (v(v ) (1 α)v ) are divided between the equity and debt holders. The equity-holders get fraction η of these gains 6 The equity holders choose to enter Chapter 11 when it is optimal for them to do so.
18 Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications Expected Returns and Default Risk An implication of this model is that, in some cases, r/ EDF < 0:
19 Empirical Work Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications To test their model, use the Moody s-kmv measure of Expected Default Frequency (EDF), in combination with CRSP/COMPUSTAT. They show that, among firms with high SBP and high liquidation costs, r/ EDF < 0 However, among low SBP/low liquidation cost firms, r/ EDF > 0. use multiple proxies for both SBP and liquidation costs: Asset Size, BM, R&D, Herfindahl Index, Asset Tangibility
20 Empirical Work Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications For example, s Table 7 examines returns to portfolios sorted on BM and EDF: Only the low BM, high EDF, portfolio has low returns, consistent with the model predictions.
21 Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications Model Additional Implication However, there are actually two key implications of the HSY model: 1 The return of high EDF, high SBP, low LC firms should be low. 2 The risk of high EDF, high SBP, low LC firms should also be low. The second implication of HSY is not tested, at least here.
22 Risk Implications Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications Recall that the cum-dividend value of the firm, net of tax-shields, follows: ( ) dv V rdt = (µ r)dt + σ V db t This means that the cum-dividend value of equity follows: ( ) de E rdt = σ E (µ r)dt + σ E db t σ V This is just a complicated way of saying that the only way that a firm can earn a high return is if it is risky!
23 Other Empirical Work Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications Griffin and Lemmon (2002) do examine both the risk and return of these portfolios. Mean returns look like those obtained in : Book-to-Market Equity O-score L M H Ret(H)-(L) (p-value) Size-Adjusted L (0.068) (0.022) (0.000) (0.000) H (0.000) Ret(H-L) (p-value) (0.001) (0.963) (0.088)
24 Other Empirical Work Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications However, Griffin and Lemmon find that the low BM, high Ohlson measure firms are actually slightly higher risk. This is true for both small firms: Small Firms α t(α) LBM M HBM LBM M HBM LO HO
25 Other Empirical Work Summary Model Empirical Findings Additional Implications However, Griffin and Lemmon find that the low BM, high Ohlson measure firms are actually slightly higher risk. This is true for both small firms and large: Large Firms α t(α) LBM M HBM LBM M HBM LO HO
26 1 It is possible that some other risk measure might explain the returns of the growth, high EDF stocks. 2 If it is not risk, what is responsible for these return patterns? The market fails to fully incorporate the info in the distress measure (?) size, BM, etc., are potentially proxies for the costs of arbitrage or for information uncertainty. 3 Which of the variables that forecast distress forecast equity returns? Why?
27 Value-Distress Interaction From, Table 8: Using the distress measure, the high BM, high distress portfolio has low returns.
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