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Eva Momentum: The One Ratio that Tells the Whole Story

15 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2009  

Bennett Stewart

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

The author goes on to demonstrate why most companies can use EVA Momentum as both their overarching financial target and the best way to keep score for multiple business lines. The article also shows why EVA Momentum is a better performance measure than ROI and that, as a diagnostic and management tool, it provides a more effective alternative to the popular DuPont ROI formula. Unlike the DuPont formula, EVA Momentum reflects the contributions to overall performance of important factors such as profitable growth, strategic retrenchment, and the quality of resource allocation decisions in general. At the same time, it provides a more accurate and informative means of examining performance, weighing tradeoffs, identifying investment opportunities, and prioritizing initiatives - all on the basis of their expected impact on a company's market value.In this article, one of the pioneers of the modern economic profit school of financial management claims to have discovered a new ratio that accurately consolidates all the pluses and minuses of decisions and operations into a single reliable overall measure that cannot be increased without truly creating value. “EVA Momentum,” as the measure is called, is the change in a company's economic profit (or EVA) in a given period divided by its sales in the prior period. In other words, it is the size-adjusted change in economic profit. Virtually all corporate managers use ratios like profit margin, earnings growth, and return on equity to set goals, analyze operations, and measure success or failure. Yet all ratios are wrong in the sense that every one of them can make it appear that operations are improving when a business actually is faltering, and vice versa.

In this article, one of the pioneers of the modern economic profit school of financial management claims to have discovered a new ratio that accurately consolidates all the pluses and minuses of decisions and operations into a single reliable overall measure that cannot be increased without truly creating value. “EVA Momentum,” as the measure is called, is the change in a company's economic profit (or EVA) in a given period divided by its sales in the prior period. In other words, it is the size-adjusted change in economic profit.

The author goes on to demonstrate why most companies can use EVA Momentum as both their overarching financial target and the best way to keep score for multiple business lines. The article also shows why EVA Momentum is a better performance measure than ROI and that, as a diagnostic and management tool, it provides a more effective alternative to the popular DuPont ROI formula. Unlike the DuPont formula, EVA Momentum reflects the contributions to overall performance of important factors such as profitable growth, strategic retrenchment, and the quality of resource allocation decisions in general. At the same time, it provides a more accurate and informative means of examining performance, weighing tradeoffs, identifying investment opportunities, and prioritizing initiatives - all on the basis of their expected impact on a company's market value.

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Bennett, Eva Momentum: The One Ratio that Tells the Whole Story. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 74-86, Spring 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1428131 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6622.2009.00228.x

Bennett Stewart (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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