The Valuation-Relevance of the Foreign Translation Adjustment: The Impact of Barriers to Entry and Rigidity of Wages

45 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2006

See all articles by Suresh Radhakrishnan

Suresh Radhakrishnan

JSOM, University of Texas at Dallas

Albert Tsang

York University - Schulich School of Business

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

We examine the economic effects of barriers to entry and rigidity of wages signaled by the foreign currency translation adjustment on multinational firms' stock returns. Specifically, based on economic theories an appreciation (depreciation) of the foreign currency exchange rate could signal (a) an increase (decrease) in the foreign country's economic growth leading to potentially higher future cash flows for firms operating in environments with barriers to entry: innovation-intensive companies and asset-intensive companies, and (b) a decrease (increase) in future profits for firms operating in environments with rigidity of wages: labor-intensive companies. Firms that are research and development (R&D) leaders in their industry are our proxy for innovation-intensive companies. Among the R&D followers, firms with large total assets (employees) to sales ratio are classified as asset-intensive (labor-intensive) firms. Innovation- and asset-intensive firms are our proxy for firms likely to be affected by the barriers to entry and labor-intensive firms are our proxy for firms likely to be affected by the rigidity of wages. We find that the foreign currency translation adjustment is positively associated with abnormal stock returns for R&D leaders and asset-intensive, R&D followers. We also find that the foreign currency translation adjustment is negatively associated with abnormal stock returns for labor-intensive, R&D followers. This shows the importance of assessing the valuation-relevance of the foreign currency translation adjustment by considering the economic contexts of foreign currency fluctuations. Overall, the evidence shows that the accounting rules governing foreign currency translations in general produce results consistent with the economic effects of foreign exchange rate changes.

Keywords: FTA, Foreign Translation Adjustment, Valuation Relevance, International Accounting

JEL Classification: F23, F29, F31, M41, M44

Suggested Citation

Radhakrishnan, Suresh and Tsang, Albert, The Valuation-Relevance of the Foreign Translation Adjustment: The Impact of Barriers to Entry and Rigidity of Wages (July 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=920566 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.920566

Suresh Radhakrishnan (Contact Author)

JSOM, University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

Mail Stop SM 41
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080
United States
972-883-4438 (Phone)
972-883-6811 (Fax)

Albert Tsang

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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