The purpose of this paper is to clarify whether value created by real estate (RE) companies (tangible intensive firms) can be evaluated better using intellectual capital (IC) elements (human, structural and physical assets) or traditional accounting measures of efficiency (ROIC and profit margins).
Correlations and cross-sectional OLS regressions with robust standard errors were used to find relationships between variables explaining value creation. Data were collected from 2007 to 2011 for Brazilian RE firms. To measure market risk, the authors used a new approach to deal with low liquidity. VAIC and I j ratios were used as IC proxies even though both have limitations.
IC has a significant inverse relationship with market value. The more valuable companies showed lower levels of IC except for CEE which explains value as much as ROIC. Also, IC does not influence market risk caused by size and leverage and does not explain ROIC.
The limitations of this study result from time and proxy variables. IC was measured by a VAIC model using data from a period of intense volatility. To increase the robustness of the conclusions, other variables should be used as proxies for IC and the results compared. The VAIC model has certain deficiencies in measuring IC.
Managers and investors in the RE sector need to change the way they create value and measure value creation. The low level of HC explaining either ROIC or market value is a signal of low innovation which, combined with high CEE, induces a short-term outlook.
This study opens discussion of IC in the Brazilian RE sector. A new methodology for identifying value creation is necessary for better evaluation and determining the fair value of firms.
Pitelli Britto, D., Monetti, E. and da Rocha Lima Jr, J. (2014), "Intellectual capital in tangible intensive firms: the case of Brazilian real estate companies", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 333-348. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-10-2013-0108
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