A Comparison of Alternative Models for Estimating Firm's Growth Rate
36 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2015
Date Written: February 3, 2015
The growth rate plays an important role in determining a firm’s asset and equity values, nevertheless the basic assumptions of the growth rate estimation model are less well understood. In this paper, we demonstrate that the model makes strong assumptions regarding the financing mix of the firm. In addition, we discuss various methods to estimate firms’ growth rate, including arithmetic average method, geometric average method, compound-sum method, continuous regression method, discrete regression method, and inferred method. We demonstrate that the arithmetic average method is very sensitive to extreme observations, and the regression methods yield similar but somewhat smaller estimates of the growth rate compared to the compound-sum method. Interestingly, the ex-post forecast shows that arithmetic average method (compound-sum method) yields the best (worst) performance with respect to estimating firm’s future dividend growth rate. Firm characteristics, like size, book-to-market ratio, and systematic risk, have significant influence on the forecast errors of dividend and sales growth rate estimation.
Keywords: Arithmetic average method; Compound-sum method; Continuous regression method; Discount cash flow model; Discrete regression method; Dividend growth model; Geometric average method; Gordon’s growth model; Growth rate; Internal growth model; Sustainable growth model
JEL Classification: G31, G35
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