On the Classification of Financial Ratios; A Factor and Transformation Analysis of Accrual, Cash Flow, and Market-Based Ratios
Factor and transformation analysis are used to find stable categories of financial ratios, and to test hypotheses concerning accrual ratios, cash flow ratios, and market-based ratios. Six stable factors are observed for Finnish data covering 1974-84. Contrary to expectations market-based ratios disperse widely. Cash flow ratios show strong internal cohesion and stability as expected. The expected dichotomy of accrual ratios into dynamic performance and static financial standing measures gets some support. The conventional text-book classification into profitability, liquidity, solvency, and turnover measures does not get direct support. Results on the interdependence of firm sizes and security betas is supported. Importance of measuring growth in financial statement analysis is also supported.
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