Financial Statement Analysis of Leverage and How It Informs About Profitability and Price-to-Book Ratios
Columbia University - Columbia Business School
Stephen H. Penman
Columbia University - Department of Accounting
This paper presents a financial statement analysis that distinguishes leverage that arises in financing activities from leverage that arises in operations. The analysis yields two leveraging equations, one for borrowing to finance operations and one for borrowing in the course of operations. These leveraging equations describe how the two types of leverage affect book rates of return on equity. An empirical analysis shows that the financial statement analysis explains cross-sectional differences in current and future rates of return as well as in price-to-book ratios, which are based on expected rates of return on equity. The paper therefore concludes that balance sheet line items for operating liabilities are priced differently than those dealing with financing liabilities. Accordingly, financial statement analysis that distinguishes the two types of liabilities aids in the forecasting of future profitability and the evaluation of appropriate price-to-book ratios.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Financing leverage; Operating liability leverage; Rate of return on equity; Price-to-book ratio
JEL Classification: G12, M41working papers series
Date posted: December 8, 2001
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