Continuing this series on the theory of financial management, the current article investigates capital structure, offering insight into the roles of stockholder wealth maximization, the risk-return tradeoff, and agency conflicts. Much literature addresses this topic, and some of the most recent literature challenges certain theoretical cornerstones touted in the textbooks, as revealed in this work.
This series inspects the major topics in finance, reviewing the roles of stockholder wealth maximization, the risk-return tradeoff, and agency conflicts. The current article, devoted to dividend policy, also reviews the topic as presented in textbooks and the literature.
The final topic in a series looking at financial management from a theoretical perspective, working capital management provides the focus of the current article. We investigate how three key axioms—the risk-return tradeoff, agency conflicts, and stockholder wealth maximization—relate to this activity that occupies much of the financial manager’s time.
In this series, three key axioms—stockholder wealth maximization, the risk-return tradeoff, and agency conflicts—are applied to the major topics in financial management. The current article looks at mergers and acquisitions, reviewing the presumed motivations, the ethical challenges, and the literature dedicated to this financial activity.
This series on the theory of financial management offers insight into the roles of stockholder wealth maximization, the risk-return tradeoff, and agency conflicts as they apply to major topics in finance. The current article investigates capital budgeting. Much literature addresses this topic, with a number of articles challenging mainstream theories, some investigating agency problems, and a few empirically testing the relationships taught in most managerial finance classrooms.
Given their prevalence in recent years, earnings management and financial restatements have been at the center of much of the discussion surrounding corporate malfeasance. This study builds a probability model for predicting the likelihood of earnings restatements by analyzing the trends in and the deviations from the industry averages of the return on assets, accounts receivable turnover, net profit margin, and operating cash flow to net income measures. Data are obtained for a sample of 104 firms (restating as well as non-restating) for the 2000 to 2001 period. The results suggest that deviations from the industry average of the accounts receivable turnover and the variability in the cash flow to net income provide good barometers for detecting fraudulent accounting. Potential restating firms have higher accounts receivable turnover rates than their industry counterparts and downward trends in their cash flow to net income, so an increase (decrease) in the accounts receivable turnover (operating cash flow to net income) significantly increases (decreases) the likelihood of a restatement, at least in the current study.
The most recent financial crisis has spurred a number of mergers and acquisitions in the financial industry, specifically banks. This study examines the hypothesis that mergers and acquisitions did not produce better performing institutions and industries during the 2006 to 2008 period. Data were compiled for six accounting-based ratios for 105 firms directly involved in mergers or acquisitions during this period. An empirical comparison of both firm-to-firm and firm-to-industry performance shows that firms did not benefit from the mergers for the majority of ratios tested. On the whole, these results reveal the inefficiencies of mergers and acquisitions, supporting the hypothesis of this study.
The current study investigates the recent mortgage crisis to determine whether deteriorating aggregate loan-to-value (LTV) ratios resulted in more acute default responses to depreciating home prices. We find evidence that default rates did not behave erratically or disproportionately to falling housing values during the subprime crisis, but we found some proof that the aggregate LTV ratio was associated with increased foreclosure rate volatility.
The following article tests the wealth-building nature of derivatives usage in non-financial firms. Investigating 434 firms and employing univariate and multivariate tests, it uses both the fair values and notional values of firms’ derivatives contracts to determine whether derivatives usage enhances or destroys firm value.
This study considers the implications of excessive non-salary-based executive pay on capital structure during the years 2005 through 2007, directly preceding the 2008 stock market crash. The hypothesis proposes that for firms in the financial sector, executives awarded generous compensation packages compared to salary implemented a higher use of debt in their firm’s capital structure. The study examines data on 40 firms in the financial sector and 40 firms in the manufacturing sector to empirically test for a relationship between executive pay and leverage. Cross-sectional analysis of nine models reveals that compensation is a significant determinant of a firm’s total debt-to-total assets ratio for the financial sector, especially with the existence of a one- to two- year lag between the variables, while the manufacturing sector yielded no significant relationship. These findings reveal sources of agency conflicts and behavioral biases within the financial sector during the three years preceding the financial collapse.