Decomposing the Market, Industry, and Firm Components of Profitability: Implications for Forecasts of Profitability
40 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 20, 2017
Academics and practitioners frequently highlight that overall market and industry performance is an important aspect of a firm’s profitability. However, few studies allow for the decomposition of a firm’s profitability into market, industry, and idiosyncratic components, and those that do often assume that the market and industry components are cross-sectional constants. In this study, we allow for variation in firm-specific sensitivities to market, industry, and idiosyncratic economic shocks, and then assess whether and when this decomposition results in improved forecasts of profitability. For the overall sample, we find significant improvements in terms of the magnitude of forecast errors and the frequency with which forecasts based on the decomposed values are superior versus forecasts using only total profitability. Across the sample as a whole, decomposing profitability in the forecasting process results in more accurate forecasts greater than two-thirds of the time (increasing to almost 80 percent within certain subsamples). Our results provide strong support for the role that firm-specific measures of market and industry profitability play in predicting a firm’s future performance, as well as highlighting settings where the decomposition provides the greatest benefit in terms of predicting future changes in profitability.
Keywords: Macroeconomy, Market, Industry, Profitability, Forecasting, firm-specific estimates
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation