Predicting returns with financial ratios
This article studies whether financial ratios like dividend yield can predict aggregate stock returns. Predictive regressions are subject to small-sample biases, but the correction used by prior studies can substantially understate forecasting power. I show that dividend yield predicts market returns during the period 1946–2000, as well as in various subsamples. Book-to-market and the earnings-price ratio predict returns during the shorter sample 1963–2000. The evidence remains strong despite the unusual price run-up in recent years.