We examine the profitability and valuation of retail firms identified by suppliers as major customers, using major customer relationships to proxy for unrecorded organizational-capital intangibles. Major customers have higher operating profitability and profitability persistence, with the sources of the higher profitability consistent with purported advantages of supply chain arrangements. The pricing of major customers is consistent with the market recognizing the level and over-time properties of operating profitability. Together, these results suggest that investors understand the profitability effects of unrecorded organizational intangible assets and that financial statement analysis can be used to further examine the valuation effects of such intangibles.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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