Value–based management : shareholder value creation and management
Greyling, Christoffel Jacobus Coetzer
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The objective of this study is to evaluate the value drivers that drive the value of companies, as reflected in the share-prices. Through this study, the aim is to draw conclusions on the aspects that drive the share-price of companies. A detailed literature study was performed on the value-creation process that takes place in a company. The literature study has a significant focus on Value-Based Management and the elements that should be considered when evaluating the manner in which companies create shareholder value through the operational activities that are performed. Through applying the principles of value-based management, the management of companies should maximise the value-created for shareholders by utilising company resources in the most effective and efficient way possible. Valuebased management should not be seen as a once-of initiative, but should be ingrained in the day-to-day operating and management activities of companies. The objective of applying value based management principles in a company should be to enhance the value of financial assets through the optimisation of the real assets of the company. Value is created in a company when the company can maintain a return on capital that is greater than the cost of capital. Through the literature study several value-drivers were identified that influence the shareholder value-creation process and that should be managed optimally. These value-drivers have been identified to be (1) sales growth, (2) cash profit margin - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), (3) cash tax rate, (4) working capital, (5) capital expenditure, (6) WACC- the risk and inflation adjusted weighted average cost of capital, and (7) the competitive advantage period. The competitive advantage period is defined as the time during which a company has a positive net present value when discounted at the WACC. Any actions that the management of a company can take to optimise these value-drivers will have a positive effect on the value created for shareholders. The link between shareholder value-creation and share-price was investigated in the literature study. It was found that different factors influence share prices and that some have nothing to do with the company itself, but more with investor sentiment about the economy as a whole and other socio-political factors. The empirical study was based on analysing key value-drivers and financial ratios that were identified during the literature study, in order to establish the relationship between company value-creation and the share-price. The data sample that was used in the empirical study consisted of 55 publicly listed companies that had a net asset value of one billion rand (R1, 000,000,000) or more in 1998. This data sample parameter was chosen in order to consider companies in the empirical study that have significant market presence in the respective industries, sectors and sub-sectors. The time horizon of the empirical study was over a 1 0-year period, from 1998 to 2007. The relationship that exists between the dependent variables of (1) Average Share Price (ASP) and (2) Year-End Share Price (YESP) and the independent variables of (1) net assets, (2) turnover, (3) trading profit, (4) operating profit, (5) profit before interest and tax, (6) Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT), (7) retained profits, (8) free cash flow, (9) Economic Value-Added (EVA), (1 0) Earnings Per Share (EPS), (11) Cash Flow Per Share (CFPS), (12) the price earnings ratio, (13) operating assets, (14) Return On Assets (ROA), and (15) Return On Equity (ROE) were analysed during the empirical study. These dependent and independent variables were chosen based on the insights gained through the literature study and was identified as appropriate to formulate conclusions on the relationship that exists between shareholder value-creation and share-price. The distributions of the above-mentioned variables are discussed in detail and distribution figures are provided to contextualise the spread of the variables and provide background on the data that was used in the empirical study. Although the study of the variables was conducted over a 1 0-year period, from 1998 to 2007, distribution figures for the years 1998 and 2007, are depicted and discussed in order to provide a comparison of the changes that took place over the 1 0-year period. Due to the nature of the variables analysed during the empirical study, the Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient is used to measure the relationship that exists between the dependent and independent variables. The Spearman Rank Coefficient is a factor model that explains complex phenomena through a small number of basic causes or factors. Given the relative large number of shares available on the share market, the estimation of dependent, share-price variables cannot be performed without simplification to dimensionality, therefore the use of the Spearman Rank Coefficient. The coefficient of correlation between the dependent and independent variables was calculated for the each of the years over the 1 0-year period and the applicability to explain the relationship between shareholder value-creation and share-price was analysed. Through the statistical analyses and the interpretation of the results, it was concluded that earnings per share and cash flow per share are the most appropriate indicators for estimating the relationship that exists between shareholder value-creation and the share-price as reflected on the share market.