Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the association between a firm's extent and precision of customer value disclosure and its implied cost of equity capital. In addition, it aims to investigate whether industry competition intensity attenuates this association. Design/methodology/approach – The content of corporate websites from four continental European countries is analysed on the presence and precision of customer value information and empirically test whether content and precision are associated with the firm's implied cost of equity capital measurement. Findings – The results show a negative association between cross‐sectional differences in the extent of customer value disclosure and cross‐sectional differences in a firm's cost of equity capital. In addition, the precision of the customer value information disclosed affects this association. It is observed that a negative relationship between quantitative (or hard) customer value disclosure and a firm's cost of equity capital, but not for qualitative (or soft) customer value disclosure. As expected, industry competition intensity attenuates the association between quantitative customer value disclosures and a firm's cost of equity capital. Research limitations/implications – The paper considers web placement of customer value disclosure although a firm might disclose such information through other information channels as well. Practical implications – A firm tends to benefit economically from more precise customer value disclosure. Originality/value – The paper extends existing evidence by considering the capital market implications of disclosing customer value information. In addition, it examines whether industry competition affects the association between customer value disclosure and the firm's cost of equity capital.
Review of Accounting and Finance – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 9, 2013
Keywords: Cost of equity capital; Customer value; Disclosure; Web reporting; Financial reporting; Equity capital
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