IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Capital structure decisions of globally-listed shipping companies

  • Drobetz, Wolfgang
  • Gounopoulos, Dimitrios
  • Merikas, Andreas
  • Schröder, Henning
Registered author(s):

    Debt capital has traditionally been the most important source of external finance in the shipping industry. The access that shipping companies nowadays have to the capital markets provides them with a broader range of financing instruments. As such, this study investigates the determinants of capital structure decisions using a sample of 115 exchange-listed shipping companies. We test whether listed shipping companies follow a target capital structure, and we analyze their adjustment dynamics after deviations from this target leverage ratio. When compared with industrial firms from the G7 countries, shipping companies exhibit higher leverage ratios and higher financial risk. Standard capital structure variables exert a significant impact on the cross-sectional variation of leverage ratios in the shipping industry. Asset tangibility is positively related to corporate leverage, and its economic impact is more pronounced than in other industries. Profitability, asset risk, and operating leverage are all inversely related to leverage. There is only weak evidence for market-timing behavior of shipping companies. Because demand and supply in the maritime industry are closely related to the macroeconomic environment, leverage behaves counter-cyclically. Using different dynamic panel estimators, we further document that the speed of adjustment after deviations from the target leverage ratio is lower during economic recessions. On average, however, the capital structure adjustment speed in the maritime industry is higher compared with the G7 benchmark sample. These findings indicate that there are substantial costs of deviation from the target leverage ratio due to high expected costs of financial distress. Our results have implications for shipping companies’ risk management activities.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1366554512000981
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 49-76

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:transe:v:52:y:2013:i:c:p:49-76
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/600244/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/600244/bibliographic
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/600244/bibliographic

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Alon Brav & John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Roni Michaely, 2003. "Payout Policy in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 9657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
    3. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    5. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    7. Wolfgang Drobetz & Tim Richter & Martin Wambach, 2012. "Dynamics of time-varying volatility in the dry bulk and tanker freight markets," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(16), pages 1367-1384, August.
    8. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    9. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    10. Andreas Merikas & Dimitrios Gounopoulos & Christos Nounis, 2009. "Global shipping IPOs performance," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 481-505, December.
    11. René M. Stulz, 1996. "Rethinking Risk Management," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(3), pages 8-25.
    12. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2009. "Capital Structure Decisions: Which Factors are Reliably Important?," MPRA Paper 22525, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1990. " Equity Issues and Stock Price Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1019-43, September.
    14. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    15. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    16. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Isil Erel & Brandon Julio & Woojin Kim & Michael S. Weisbach, 2011. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Capital Raising," NBER Working Papers 16941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Michael Faulkender & Mitchell A. Petersen, 2003. "Does the Source of Capital Affect Capital Structure?," NBER Working Papers 9930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Lowry, Michelle, 2003. "Why does IPO volume fluctuate so much?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 3-40, January.
    20. Sohnke M. Bartram & Gregory W. Brown & Frank R. Fehle, 2003. "International Evidence on Financial Derivatives Usage," Finance 0307003, EconWPA, revised 24 Jul 2003.
    21. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2011. "Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 337-378, 04.
    22. Alves, Paulo F. Pereira & Ferreira, Miguel A., 2011. "Capital structure and law around the world," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 119-150, July.
    23. Jeffrey A. Wurgler & Malcolm P. Baker, 2001. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm181, Yale School of Management.
    24. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    25. Dirk Hackbarth & Jianjun Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2004. "Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions," FAME Research Paper Series rp125, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
    26. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    27. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1999. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1882, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    28. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
    29. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    30. Tsionas, Mike G. & Merikas, Andreas G. & Merika, Anna A., 2012. "Concentrated ownership and corporate performance revisited: The case of shipping," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 843-852.
    31. Kim, Young Sang & Mathur, Ike & Nam, Jouahn, 2006. "Is operational hedging a substitute for or a complement to financial hedging?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 834-853, September.
    32. Wolfgang Bessler & Wolfgang Drobetz & Matthias C. Grüninger, 2011. "Information Asymmetry and Financing Decisions," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 123-154, 03.
    33. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta & Gilles Hilary, 2006. "Analyst Coverage and Financing Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 3009-3048, December.
    34. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    35. Korajczyk, Robert A & Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1991. "The Effect of Information Releases on the Pricing and Timing of Equity Issues," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(4), pages 685-708.
    36. Grammenos, Costas Th. & Alizadeh, Amir H. & Papapostolou, Nikos C., 2007. "Factors affecting the dynamics of yield premia on shipping seasoned high yield bonds," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 549-564, September.
    37. Grammenos, C.Th. & Nomikos, N.K. & Papapostolou, N.C., 2008. "Estimating the probability of default for shipping high yield bond issues," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 1123-1138, November.
    38. Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-22, September.
    39. Robert Novy-Marx, 2011. "Operating Leverage," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 15(1), pages 103-134.
    40. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. John R. Graham & Mark T. Leary, 2011. "A Review of Empirical Capital Structure Research and Directions for the Future," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 309-345, December.
    42. Kayhan, Ayla & Titman, Sheridan, 2007. "Firms' histories and their capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-32, January.
    43. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    44. Huang, Rongbing & Ritter, Jay R., 2009. "Testing Theories of Capital Structure and Estimating the Speed of Adjustment," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 237-271, April.
    45. Kristine Watson Hankins, 2011. "How Do Financial Firms Manage Risk? Unraveling the Interaction of Financial and Operational Hedging," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(12), pages 2197-2212, December.
    46. Ivo Welch, 2004. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 106-131, February.
    47. Reint Gropp & Florian Heider, 2010. "The Determinants of Bank Capital Structure," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(4), pages 587-622.
    48. Murillo Campello & Erasmo Giambona, 2012. "Real Assets and Capital Structure," NBER Working Papers 18147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    49. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    50. Choe, Hyuk & Masulis, Ronald W. & Nanda, Vikram, 1993. "Common stock offerings across the business cycle : Theory and evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-31, June.
    51. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas, 2000. "Equity, Bonds, and Bank Debt: Capital Structure and Financial Market Equilibrium under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 324-351, April.
    52. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
    53. Fan, Joseph P. H. & Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2012. "An International Comparison of Capital Structure and Debt Maturity Choices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 23-56, April.
    54. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    55. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-59, September.
    56. Cook, Douglas O. & Tang, Tian, 2010. "Macroeconomic conditions and capital structure adjustment speed," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 73-87, February.
    57. David J. Denis & Valeriy Sibilkov, 2010. "Financial Constraints, Investment, and the Value of Cash Holdings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 247-269, January.
    58. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Whited, Toni M., 2011. "Capital structure dynamics and transitory debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 235-261, February.
    59. Ralf Elsas & David Florysiak, 2011. "Heterogeneity in the Speed of Adjustment toward Target Leverage," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 181-211, 06.
    60. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta, 2009. "Target Behavior and Financing: How Conclusive Is the Evidence?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1767-1796, 08.
    61. Wayne E. Ferson & Campbell R. Harvey, 1994. "Sources of Risk and Expected Returns in Global Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 4622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    62. Lisa K. Meulbroek, 2002. "A Senior Manager'S Guide To Integrated Risk Management," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(4), pages 56-70.
    63. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    64. Bayless, Mark & Chaplinsky, Susan, 1996. " Is There a Window of Opportunity for Seasoned Equity Issuance?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 253-78, March.
    65. Korajczyk, Robert A. & Lucas, Deborah J. & McDonald, Robert L., 1992. "Equity Issues with Time-Varying Asymmetric Information," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 397-417, September.
    66. Stefan Albertijn & Wolfgang Bessler & Wolfgang Drobetz, 2011. "Financing Shipping Companies and Shipping Operations: A Risk‐Management Perspective," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 23(4), pages 70-82, December.
    67. Loudermilk, Margaret S., 2007. "Estimation of Fractional Dependent Variables in Dynamic Panel Data Models With an Application to Firm Dividend Policy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 462-472, October.
    68. Todd C. Pulvino, 1998. "Do Asset Fire Sales Exist? An Empirical Investigation of Commercial Aircraft Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 939-978, 06.
    69. Parsons, Christopher & Titman, Sheridan, 2009. "Empirical Capital Structure: A Review," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 3(1), pages 1-93, March.
    70. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
    71. Faulkender, Michael & Flannery, Mark J. & Hankins, Kristine Watson & Smith, Jason M., 2012. "Cash flows and leverage adjustments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 632-646.
    72. Ivo Welch, 2011. "Two Common Problems in Capital Structure Research: The Financial‐Debt‐To‐Asset Ratio and Issuing Activity Versus Leverage Changes," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 1-17, 03.
    73. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    74. Antoniou, Antonios & Guney, Yilmaz & Paudyal, Krishna, 2008. "The Determinants of Capital Structure: Capital Market-Oriented versus Bank-Oriented Institutions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 59-92, March.
    75. Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 41, University of California at Berkeley.
    76. David M. Harrison & Christine A. Panasian & Michael J. Seiler, 2011. "Further Evidence on the Capital Structure of REITs," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 133-166, 03.
    77. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    78. Lemmon, Michael L. & Zender, Jaime F., 2010. "Debt Capacity and Tests of Capital Structure Theories," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(05), pages 1161-1187, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transe:v:52:y:2013:i:c:p:49-76. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.