Value relevance of alternative accounting performance measures: Australian evidence

Ahsan Habib (Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Publication date: 14 September 2010



The paper aims to examine the value relevance of alternative accounting performance measures in Australia. It also documents the relative and incremental value relevance of revenue vis‐à‐vis earnings and the longitudinal changes in such value relevance. Finally, the impact of certain firm characteristics including firm life cycle on the value relevance of revenue and earnings information is investigated.


The paper utilises data on Australian listed companies from 1992 to 2005 on the level of and changes in seven alternative accounting performance measures. Standard ordinary least square regression is conducted.


Results reveal that: the coefficient estimates on all the performance measures are much higher for large firms compared to their small firm counterpart; the explanatory power of incremental revenue in explaining stock returns has declined significantly over the sample period; and life cycle analysis shows that the combined coefficients for both revenue and earnings are significant in the growth and maturity stages of the firm life cycle.

Practical implications

When making equity valuation decisions investors consider firms' fundamentals as reflected in financial statements. However, which line item is more important for equity valuation is an important consideration. From a regulatory perspective, this stream of research is quite relevant because standard setters will have evidence from an investor viewpoint about whether certain line items, subtotals, and totals should be defined in standards and required to be displayed in financial statements.


The paper adds to the existing capital market research in Australia by documenting differential persistence of alternative performance measures.



Habib, A. (2010), "Value relevance of alternative accounting performance measures: Australian evidence", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 190-212.

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