چگونه مدیران نروژی سیاستهای تقسیم سود را مشاهده می کنند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29288||2006||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11859 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Global Finance Journal, Volume 17, Issue 1, September 2006, Pages 155–176
We survey managers of Norwegian firms listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange about their views on dividend policy. The key factors that drive dividend policies are the level of current and expected future earnings, stability of earnings, current degree of financial leverage, and liquidity constraints. No significant correlation exists between the overall rankings of factors influencing dividend policy between Norwegian and U.S. managers. Norwegian managers express mixed views about whether a firm's dividend policy affects firm value. In general, management views provide support for the signaling hypothesis of payout policy but not the tax-preference explanation.
In his classic work, Black (1976) found no convincing explanation of why companies pay cash dividends to their shareholders. In the three decades since Black first described the “dividend puzzle”, financial economists have intensely studied the possible role of dividends in maintaining or increasing corporate values. According to Baker, Powell, and Veit (2002a, p. 255), “despite a voluminous amount of research, we still do not have all the answers to the dividend puzzle.” That is, we do not have definitive answers on why companies pay dividends and why investors care about them. Nonetheless, theoretical and empirical studies have provided many useful insights about dividend policy. Although the various theories of dividend policy typically take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, evidence suggests that dividend policy may vary substantially from one firm to another. As Frankfurter and Wood (1997, p. 31) conclude, dividend policy “… cannot be modeled mathematically and uniformly for all firms at all times.” Researchers have followed two major paths in trying to explain why firms pay dividends. The most well traveled path is to develop and test various theories to explain the dividend puzzle. Some of the earliest research focused on the Miller and Modigliani (1961), hereafter called M&M, argument for dividend irrelevance. Based on some highly restrictive assumptions involving perfect capital markets, M&M contend that one dividend policy is as good as another. Others provide plausible explanations for dividend relevance outside of M&M's idealized world of economic theory. Common explanations of dividend relevance involve asymmetric information (signaling), taxation, and agency costs.1Baker and Wurgler (2004) propose a new explanation called the “catering theory of dividends.” According to this theory, investor preferences for dividends may change over time. Managers cater to investors by paying dividends when investors place a stock premium on payers, and by not paying when investors prefer non-payers. Each theory has some empirical support but no single theory has emerged as the dominant explanation. The second path is to survey managers about their views toward possible reasons underlying dividend decisions. The evidence using survey research methodology both complements and provides a check of the purely econometric research on dividends. Lintner (1956) conducted the seminal study about dividend decisions in the United States. According to Lintner's model, the best predictors of current dividends are past dividends and current profits. He finds that firms have long-term target dividend payout ratios that lead to smoothing of dividend payments over time. His evidence also shows that managers are reluctant both to announce dividend increases that they may later have to reverse and to cut dividends temporarily. Almost 30 years later, Baker, Farrelly, and Edelman (1985) and Farrelly, Baker, and Edelman (1986) surveyed chief financial officers (CFOs) of NYSE firms from three industry groups (utilities, manufacturing, and wholesale/retail) to identify the major determinants of corporate dividend policy. Their evidence shows that the most important factors are the anticipated level of future earnings, the pattern of past dividends, the availability of cash, and the desire to maintain or increase the stock price. Similar to the findings of Lintner (1956), they report that firms try to avoid changing dividend rates that might soon need to be reversed, maintain an uninterrupted record of dividend payments, have a target payout ratio, and periodically adjust the payout toward the target. Respondents show strong agreement that dividends provide a signaling device and the market uses dividend announcements to help value firm stocks. Finally, they report differences in responses between more regulated (utilities) and less regulated (manufacturing and wholesale/retail) industry groups. Numerous dividend surveys involving U.S. firms followed (e.g., Baker and Farrelly, 1988, Baker and Powell, 1999, Baker and Powell, 2000, Baker et al., 2002b, Baker et al., 2001, Brav et al., 2005, Farrelly and Baker, 1989 and Pruitt and Gitman, 1991). For example, Baker and Powell, 1999 and Baker and Powell, 2000, who survey CFOs from NYSE firms, report most respondents believe that dividend policy affects firm value. Respondents show strong support for the signaling explanation for dividends. Overall, the views of managers about setting dividend payments are surprisingly consistent with Lintner's (1956) findings, especially regarding the concern about continuity of dividends. Unlike Baker et al. (1985), Baker and Powell (2000) report few differences among the responses of managers in different industries. They attribute this finding to changes in the economic and competitive environment for utilities. Brav et al. (2005) survey financial executives to determine the factors that drive dividend and repurchase decisions. They find that perceived stability of future earnings still affects dividend policy as in Lintner (1956). Executives believe that payout policies have little impact on their investor clientele. Management views generally provide little support for agency, signaling, and clientele hypotheses of payout policy. In addition, tax considerations play a secondary role. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the views of corporate managers of Norwegian dividend-paying firms listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) about (1) the factors influencing the dividend policies of their firms and (2) theoretical and empirical issues about dividend policy in general. A secondary purpose is to compare the importance that Norwegian and U.S. managers attached to the factors influencing dividend policy. Although there are numerous dividend surveys involving U.S. firms, this is not the case for Norway. The OSE is relatively small and has a regulatory system different from that of the U.S. Stark differences in government regulations and tax rates exist between the two countries. Thus, the main contribution of our study is to provide insights on how managers of Norwegian firms view dividend policy. Such insights can provide a bridge between theory and practice. The remainder of the paper has the following organization. Section 2 provides a discussion of a few differences between the environments in Norway and the United States. Section 3 presents our research questions and empirical predictions. Section 4 explains our methodology including the sample, survey instrument, testing methodology, and limitations. Section 5 offers our survey results and Section 6 provides a summary and conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We survey managers of dividend-paying firms listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange to identify the most important factors in making dividend policy decisions and to learn their views about various dividend-related issues. Where appropriate, we compare the views of managers of Norwegian and U.S. firms. Some findings are consistent with our predictions, but others are surprising. Nonetheless, this survey evidence is still important because it reinforces some earlier findings while not supporting others using a different country and period. The findings of this survey lead to several conclusions about dividend policy. First, the most important factors influencing the dividend policy of Norwegian firms relate to earnings, specifically the level of current and expected future earnings as well the stability of earnings. Other significant determinants of dividend policy include the current degree of financial leverage and liquidity constraints. Based on our evidence, we conclude that the same factors influencing dividend decisions are not equally important to all firms. We surmise that no universal set of factors applies equally to all firms. Second, the relative importance that managers of Norwegian firms attach to earnings in influencing dividend policy is similar to that previously reported by managers of U.S. firms. However, distinct differences exist in the importance that managers attach to numerous factors. For example, managers of Norwegian firms view legal rules and constraints as more important than do their U.S. counterparts. By contrast, managers of U.S. firms rank the pattern of past dividends as more important than do managers of Norwegian firms. No significant correlation exists between the rankings of factors by managers of Norwegian and NYSE or NASDAQ firms. Third, Norwegian managers generally support some statements related to the concept that a firm's dividend policy matters. They show a high level of agreement that a firm should devise its dividend policy to produce maximum value for its shareholders. In addition, they agree that an optimal dividend policy strikes a balance between current dividends and future growth that maximizes stock price. Yet, these managers appear ambivalent when asked whether a change in a firm's cash dividends affects its value. Compared with their U.S. counterparts, respondents from Norwegian firms express much less agreement with the notion that a relation exists between dividend policy and firm value. Finally, managers of Norwegian firms express stronger support for a signaling explanation for paying dividends than they do for a tax-preference explanation. Yet, the majority of responses appear ambivalent to whether investors generally use dividend announcements as information to help assess a firm's stock value. For firms in general, the evidence suggests that dividend policy plays a possible role as a signaling mechanism.