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What factors can explain the performance of energy companies in Portugal? Panel data evidence

Maria Elisabete Duarte Neves (Polytechnic of Coimbra, Coimbra Business School Research Centre| ISCAC, Coimbra Portugal, Portugal) (Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies|CETRAD, University of Trás‐os‐Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Luís Baptista (Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Higher Institute of Accountancy and Administration of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal)
António Gomes Dias (DESG, UTAD–Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal) (Centro de Estudos Transdisciplinares para o Desenvolvimento, Universidade de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Inês Lisboa (Centre of Applied Research in Management and Economics, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, School of Technology and Management, Leiria, Portugal)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 3 August 2021

Issue publication date: 14 February 2023




This paper aims to analyze the determinants of Portuguese energy companies' performance.


To achieve our objective, we have used data from 457 Portuguese energy companies, in the period between 2011 and 2018. Three dependent variables were tested using panel data, through the generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation method.


The results point out that the determinants of companies' performance change according to how different stakeholders appreciate corporate performance. In general, shareholders are concerned with maintaining their levels of profitability over time as well as with the company's market image. Managers are centered on maintaining solid margins on EBITDA through good management of cash flow, leverage and current assets. For the rest of the stakeholders, including global society, debt and investments in tangible fixed assets reduce profitability while investments in immaterial assets help to create value and performance for energy companies.


As far as the authors are aware, this is the first time that a study has been carried out in the Portuguese energy sector using the GMM-system model for three different stakeholders' views of corporate performance determinants.



This work is supported by national funds, through the FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the project UIDB/04011/2020 and the project UIDB/04928/2020.


Neves, M.E.D., Baptista, L., Dias, A.G. and Lisboa, I. (2023), "What factors can explain the performance of energy companies in Portugal? Panel data evidence", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 3, pp. 730-752.



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