Valuation and value relevance of the firm-level, and geographic and business segment-level accounting information
In this study, I empirically examine the valuation and value relevance characteristics of specific consolidation and segment-disaggregated corporate financial information. On the consolidation level, I investigate the relationships (in terms of value relevance and pricing) between the UK firms’ equity market values and the firm-level contemporaneous equity book values, earnings and dividends. The objective here is identify and explore factors and contexts that impact on the value relevance and pricing of consolidated financial statement information reported by UK publicly traded firms over the period from 1987 to 2002. On the segmental level, the study capitalises on the insights gained from the consolidated level findings and investigates (i) whether financial information, on specific geographic and line-of-business segments’ operations of a cross-section of UK multi-segment firms, is associated with the equity market value of the entire firm (i.e., value relevant); (ii) whether such operations are being differentially priced (by the stock market) into the equity market value of the firm; and (iii) how the factors/contexts affecting value relevance and pricing of the firm-level accounting fundamentals impact on the value relevance and pricing of the segment-level results. Additionally, this study provides further empirical evidence on the adequacy of the UK segment reporting accounting standard SSAP 25, and the quality of segment disclosures in the UK. The employed valuation model represents a fusion of valuation frameworks developed in earlier studies [e.g., Edwards and Bell (1961), Peasnell (1981, 1982), Ohlson (1989, 1995), Rees (1997), Garrod and Rees (1998), Wysocki (1998)]. On the consolidated-level, the model expresses the size-deflated equity market value of the firm as a linear function of size-deflated equity book value, earnings for ordinary, dividends for ordinary shareholders and additional control/dummy variables. In the segment-level analysis, the earnings variable is further disaggregated into its segment-level elements. With regard to the firm-level analysis, the study uncovers a range of contexts and factors that affect the value relevance and pricing of specific accounting value drivers. Among these are: the sign of reported earnings and book values; whether the firm trades at a premium/discount to its book value; the economic periods; the dividend status of the firm; diversification profile of the firm; and the industrial affiliation of the firm. In addition, the firm-level analysis indicates that the industrially diversified firms have lower valuation than the focused firms, while the geographically diversified firms have higher valuation than the domestic firms.