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Barbara Fidanza ORCID logo


The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the paper illustrates which comparables selection method provides the most accurate forecasts by using multiples. Firms listed on the Milan stock exchange from 2000 to 2006 were analyzed. Comparable firms were selected by activity sector, sector and size, sector and ROA, ROA and size, and were averaged with the arithmetic mean, median, and harmonic mean. Twelve multiple valuation methods were analyzed. The empirical results suggest that the selection of comparable firms on the basis of sector and ROA or sector and size are the most accurate criteria. Valuation improves when multiples are averaged using a median relative to arithmetic and harmonic mean. Moreover, in order to test which multiples are most effective to value a company, the main multiples were considered and I analyzed how factors such as sector, size and year bias these outcomes. The results show that the multiples based on cash flows are almost always significant; the multiples based on earnings are most significant in industrial sectors, in particular for small firms with many intangible assets; the multiples on book value appear most effective for non-industrial firms.

Keywords: Firm Valuation, Earnings, Assets, ROA, Italy

How to cite this paper: Fidanza, B. (2010). The valuation by multiples of Italian firms. Corporate Ownership & Control, 7(3-1), 228-241.