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Stock prices and inflation hedged firms

Kristopher J. Kemper, Erik Nesson () and Kevin Gatzlaff

Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 20, 1454-1457

Abstract: As the Federal Reserve continues its near-zero rate policy, the threat of inflation remains a concern among both policymakers and businesses. This article uses over 30 years of accounting data and stock returns to examine how publicly traded firms respond to increasing inflation expectations. We first examine whether firms make balance sheet adjustments in response to expected inflation. We then examine whether these activities have a positive effect on stock prices. We find that firms increase inventory, increase capital expenditures and reduce long-term debt when there is an increased expectation of inflation. We then find that firms that increase inventory in this economic regime are rewarded in the market. Markets also reward firms that increase their cash positions and reduce long-term debt possibly suggesting investor flight to safety.

Date: 2018
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