IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Market-to-revenue multiples in public and private capital markets


  • Christopher S Armstrong

    (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA)

  • Antonio Davila

    (IESE, Spain)

  • George Foster

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA)

  • John RM Hand

    (Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, USA)


The behavior and determinants of market-to-revenue ratios in public and private capital markets is examined. Three samples are analysed: (1) all publicly traded stocks listed at some time on the New York Stock Exchange/American Stock Exchange/National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System in the 1980—2004 period; (2) sample of over 300 so-called ‘internet companies’ in the 1996—2004 period; and (3) over 5500 privately held venture capital-backed companies in the 1992—2004 period. Both company size and the most recent revenue growth rate are found to explain significant variation across companies in their market-to-revenue multiples — smaller companies and companies with higher recent revenue growth rates have higher multiples. We also document how the capital market appears to use a broad-based information set when setting market-to-revenue multiples for companies with negative revenue growth rates — transitory revenue growth components appear to be identified (in a probabilistic sense) by the capital market. Contrary to much anecdotal comment, we present evidence that the capital market behaved directionally along the lines predicted by capital market theory in the pricing of internet stocks in the 1996—2004 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher S Armstrong & Antonio Davila & George Foster & John RM Hand, 2011. "Market-to-revenue multiples in public and private capital markets," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 36(1), pages 15-57, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ausman:v:36:y:2011:i:1:p:15-57

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Karen Benson & Peter M Clarkson & Tom Smith & Irene Tutticci, 2015. "A review of accounting research in the Asia Pacific region," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 40(1), pages 36-88, February.
    2. Morris, John J. & Alam, Pervaiz, 2012. "Value relevance and the dot-com bubble of the 1990s," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 243-255.
    3. Linnenluecke, Martina K. & Chen, Xiaoyan & Ling, Xin & Smith, Tom & Zhu, Yushu, 2016. "Emerging trends in Asia-Pacific finance research: A review of recent influential publications and a research agenda," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 66-76.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ausman:v:36:y:2011:i:1:p:15-57. 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: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.