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Financial Performance of Publicly-Traded Agribusinesses


  • Katchova, Ani L.
  • Enlow, Sierra J.


Agribusinesses represent a fundamental link in connecting farmers with retailers and consumers, yet little research has been done to examine the historical financial performance of these food processing firms. Our research examines how publicly-traded agribusinesses perform financially compared to all firms over the period from 1961 to 2011. We utilize several indicators of company success, including financial ratios and balance sheet/income statement items, to compare agribusiness firms to all firms in the market. We perform the analysis over time and also for companies with low-, median, and high-performance. We also perform DuPont analysis to compare return on equity components between agribusinesses and all firms. We find that agribusinesses outperform at the median the sample of all firms in terms financial ratios related to profitability, liquidity, and market ratios, but have slightly lower liquidity and debt ratios. The DuPont analysis shows that the higher return on equity for agribusinesses is mostly due to higher asset turnover ratios, indicating higher operating efficiency of agribusinesses. The strong financial performance of food manufacturing agribusinesses makes them valuable companies in an investment portfolio. Our study provides a basic overview of financial ratios used to examine the financial performance of publicly-traded agribusinesses. Our findings show that agribusinesses outperform all firms in terms of key financial indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Katchova, Ani L. & Enlow, Sierra J., 2013. "Financial Performance of Publicly-Traded Agribusinesses," Staff Papers 164518, University of Kentucky, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ukysps:164518

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Mark R. Manfredo & Dwight R. Sanders & Winifred D. Scott, 2011. "Analyst's earnings estimates for publicly traded food companies: How good are they?," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 261-279, June.
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    7. Schumacher, Sara K. & Boland, Michael A., 2003. "The Persistence Of Profitability In The Food And Agribusiness Sector," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22124, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Cited by:

    1. Veselinović, Branislav & Drobnjaković, Maja, 2014. "Qualitative And Quantitative Analysis Of Micro And Macro Aspects Of Agricultural Finance," Economics of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-17, October.
    2. Carlos J.O. Trejo-Pech & Richard N. Weldon & Michael A. Gunderson, 2016. "Earnings Management through Specific Accruals and Discretionary Expenses: Evidence from U.S. Agribusiness Firms," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 64(1), pages 89-118, March.

    More about this item


    Agribusiness; Agricultural Finance;

    JEL classification:

    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance


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