Capital Structure and Profitability of Quoted Companies in Nigeria
Keywords:Quoted companies, panel data, profitability, capital structure, debt ratio, debt financing, retained earnings, equity financing, optimal capital structure.
AbstractThe study examined the relationship of capital structure to profitability of quoted firms in Nigeria. The study was based on a panel data set from 1996 to 2010 comprising sixty non – financial companies. The study specified two panel regression models. Two profitability measures: Net Profit Margin (NPM) and Operating Profit Margin (OPM) were taken as the dependent variables respectively. The principal explanatory variable for each of the models was Debt Ratio (DR). The results of the study indicated that there was a significant negative relationship between capital structure and profitability of quoted companies in Nigeria. Indeed, the results the Pecking order theory that profitable firms do not target an optimal level of leverage to balance the benefits and costs of debt financing. Rather, firms use retained earnings first, then debts and finally equity. Such firms would actually be paying high tax charges and also high operating costs arising from over dependence on the money market for their funds requirements. It was recommended that appropriate fiscal policies, relevant capital market institutional and legal framework should be put in place. These measures, we believe, will ensure better access to funds and reduce the cost of doing business.
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