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The Conventional Formula for the Nominal Growth Rate of Free Cash Flows is OK -- A Comment on Three Recent Papers in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance


  • Jennergren, L. Peter

    () (Department of Accounting)


The conventional formula for the nominal growth rate of free cash flows (equal to dividends when there is no interest-bearing debt) says that this growth rate is equal to the product of the plowback ratio and the nominal rate of return on the assets (the latter equal to book equity when there is no debt). In a recent issue of the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, M. Bradley and G. A. Jarrell claim that the conventional formula is wrong when there is positive inflation, proposing instead an alternative formula. In a rejoinder to that paper in the same journal, G. Friedl and B. Schwetzler assert that the conventional formula is right. In a comment on Friedl and Schwetzler, Bradley and Jarrell reassert their original position, that is, the conventional formula is wrong and the alternative one is right. This note shows that the conventional formula is right and that both formulas give the same nominal growth rate. Consequently, both are OK.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennergren, L. Peter, 2011. "The Conventional Formula for the Nominal Growth Rate of Free Cash Flows is OK -- A Comment on Three Recent Papers in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2011:6, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:hastba:2011_006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Bradley & Gregg A. Jarrell, 2008. "Expected Inflation and the Constant-Growth Valuation Model," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 20(2), pages 66-78.
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    Gordon formula; nominal growth rate; free cash flows;

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