Customer-base concentration, profitability and distress across the corporate life cycle
Using a recently expanded data set on supplier-customer links, we examine how customer concentration affects firm profitability. We find that the relation between customer concentration and firm profitability is more complex than recent literature suggests. We confirm that customer concentration promotes operating efficiencies for profitable firms. However, we find a different result for younger, less profitable firms where customer concentration impairs firm profitability and significantly increases distress risk. Thus, the relation between customer-base concentration and profitability is non-linear; it is significantly negative in the early years of a firm’s public life, turning positive as the relationship matures. The reason for this dynamic relation is that firms who serve a few major customers make customer-specific investments that result in larger fixed costs and greater operating leverage. These relatively high fixed costs mean that customer concentration is risky for young firms, but can significantly benefit the firm if the relationship survives.
|Date of creation:||10 Oct 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Lauren Cohen & Breno Schmidt, 2009. "Attracting Flows by Attracting Big Clients," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2125-2151, October.
- John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2008.
"In Search of Distress Risk,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2899-2939, December.
- Campbell, John Y. & Hilscher, Jens & Szilagyi, Jan, 2005. "In search of distress risk," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,27, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
- John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2005. "In Searach of Distress Risk," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2081, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Szilagyi, Jan & Hilscher, Jens & Campbell, John, 2008. "In Search of Distress Risk," Scholarly Articles 3199070, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2006. "In Search of Distress Risk," NBER Working Papers 12362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
- Carter, Richard B & Manaster, Steven, 1990. " Initial Public Offerings and Underwriter Reputation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1045-1067, September.
- Hoechle, Daniel & Schmid, Markus & Walter, Ingo & Yermack, David, 2012. "How much of the diversification discount can be explained by poor corporate governance?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 41-60.
- Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
- Lustgarten, Steven H, 1975. "The Impact of Buyer Concentration in Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 125-132, May.
- Newmark, Craig M, 1989. "Administrative Control, Buyer Concentration, and Price-Cost Margins," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 74-79, February.
- Mark C. Anderson & Rajiv D. Banker & Surya N. Janakiraman, 2003. "Are Selling, General, and Administrative Costs "Sticky"?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 47-63, March.
- Costello, Anna M., 2013. "Mitigating incentive conflicts in inter-firm relationships: Evidence from long-term supply contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 19-39.
- Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-1093, December.
- C. Edward Fee & Charles J. Hadlock & Shawn Thomas, 2006. "Corporate Equity Ownership and the Governance of Product Market Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1217-1251, June.
- Lauren Cohen & Andrea Frazzini, 2008. "Economic Links and Predictable Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1977-2011, August.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Trish Kelly & Martin Gosman, 2000. "Increased Buyer Concentration and Its Effects on Profitability in the Manufacturing Sector," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 17(1), pages 41-59, August. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:53886. 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: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.