Confining value from neural networks

Ioannis Anagnostopoulos (Kingston Business School, Kingston University, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK)
Anas Rizeq (Reach Holding, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Publication date: 29 November 2018



This study provides valuable insights to managers aiming to increase the effectiveness of their diversification and growth portfolios. The purpose of this paper is to examine the value of utilizing a neural networks (NNs) approach using mergers and acquisition (M&A) data confined in the US technology domain.


Using data from Bloomberg for the period 2000–2016, the results confirm that an NN approach provides more explanation between financial variables in the model than a traditional regression model where the NN approach of this study is then compared with linear classifier, logistic regression. The empirical results show that NN is a promising method of evaluating M&A takeover targets in terms of their predictive accuracy and adaptability.


The findings emphasize the value alternative methodologies provide in high-technology industries in order to achieve the screening and explorative performance objectives, given the technological complexity, market uncertainty and the divergent skill sets required for breakthrough innovations in these sectors.

Research limitations/implications

NN methods do not provide for a fuller analysis of significance for each of the autonomous variables in the model as traditional regression methods do. The generalization breadth of this study is limited within a specific sector (technology) in a specific country (USA) covering a specific period (2000–2016).

Practical implications

Investors value firms before investing in them to identify their true stock price; yet, technology firms pose a great valuation challenge to investors and analysts alike as the latest information technology stock price bubbles, Silicon Valley and as the recent stratospheric rise of financial technology companies have also demonstrated.

Social implications

Numerous studies have shown that M&As are more often than not destroy value rather than create it. More than 50 percent of all M&As lead to a decline in relative total shareholder return after one year. Hence, effective target identification must be built on the foundation of a credible strategy that identifies the most promising market segments for growth, assesses whether organic or acquisitive growth is the best way forward and defines the commercial and financial hurdles for potential deals.


Technology firm value is directly dependent on growth, consequently most of the value will originate from future customers or products not from current assets that makes it challenging for investors to measure a firm’s beta (risk) where the value of a technology is only known after its commercialization to the market. A differentiated methodological approach used is the use of NNs, machine learning and data mining to predict bankruptcy or takeover targets.



Anagnostopoulos, I. and Rizeq, A. (2018), "Confining value from neural networks", Managerial Finance, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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