Linking Financial Ratios and Stock Returns

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Chapter I

Financial ratio analysis is a technique for trying to help interpret financial accounts and to determine the intrinsic value of a security by careful examination of key value drivers such as risk, growth, and competitive position. Various ratios can be calculated from the financial accounts. These ratios will then help us to examine the company’s performance over a number of periods by comparing the same ratios in previous years’ accounts and also the accounts of other businesses operating in a similar environment (Most common benchmarks are industry leaders and industry averages). Financial ratio analysis provides essential information and serve (Investors, Stockholders, lenders, corporation management, Fundamental analysts….) with a lot of different contexts for different kinds of decisions.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

The enormous number of financial ratios used by financial managers and financial analysts and their relationship with stock return is the main problem in interpreting the financial statements. Based on, the ultimate goal of financial managers is to maximize the wealth of their stockholders; financial managers must understand the impact of their managerial decisions on their company’s financial statements and financial ratios concluded which will consequently affect the stock price of their company. Interpreting such a huge number of ratios distracts attention from the most relevant factors that affect stock prices.

1.2 Purpose of the study

A number of studies such as Timo Salmi (1990) were conducted to reduce the information load resulting from computing a large number of ratios and categorize those ratios that were believed valuable. This study aims to identify those variables that are most relevant to the stock returns of pharmaceutical sector in Egyptian stock market.

1.3 Statement of objectives

This study attempt to achieve the following objective:
-The most relevant independent variables (financial ratios) with stock returns as a dependent variable.
Chapter II
2.1 Literature Review
The main goal of our research is to evaluate the relationship between common financial ratios as independent variables and stock returns of the pharmaceutical firms as dependent variable. The relation between financial statement information and stock return was examined by Ou and Penman (1989) who observed returns to investment strategies that are based on a measure that summarizes the information in financial statements to identify the relevant financial ratios. Their study indicate that the predicted returns can not be explained by return based risk measures and that financial statements capture fundamentals that are not reflected in stock prices. The results of the study suggest that it is possible for investors to make excess profits using publicly available information. More recently, the relation between financial statement information and stock return was extended by Holtausen and larcker (1992) who identify value-relevant fundamentals in the context of a return-fundamentals relation. Holtausen (1992) examined the ability of accounting information to generate profitable trading strategies (using 60 accounting ratios). The excess returns were observed in the fourth month following the company’s fiscal year end. The results of the study suggest that the trading strategy was able to earn significantly abnormal returns during the period of 1978-1988. The same issue was examined later by Lev and Thiagarajan (1993) who used fundamental ratios as the basis of analysts’ description of different ratios to identify the value relevance of the financial ratios and their usefulness in security valuation. Afterward, Belkoui (1997) employed the popular financial ratios to show the value relevance, where the popularity of these financial ratios is matched by their usefulness in security valuation. He shows that value relevance of popular...
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