Capital Budgeting Practices: A Survey of Croatian Firms
This paper reports the results of a mail survey of capital budgeting practices among Croatian firms and compares the results with those from similar studies in the USA, UK, Sweden, and other European countries. It is based on a questionnaire sent to 200 firms selected from 400 of the best Croatian firms (special edition of Privredni vjesnik) and to 34 banks from a ranking of Croatian banks (special edition of Privredni vjesnik). The response rate was 25,21%. The goal of the empirical survey was to determine the present application of quantitative capital budgeting methods, cost of capital and cash flow estimation, risk analysis and application of a real options approach in capital budgeting practices in Croatian firms. This is the first empirical survey of Croatian capital budgeting practices that has been undertaken.
In this paper we first present some developed theories of financing that firms might accord with in their development stages. The framework, assumptions and predictions of the capital structure of firms in each theory is shown. Afterwards, crowdfunding, as a fairly new source of financing that is increasing significance, is described and is differentiated on the basis of the type of return on investment for the outside investors. In recent literature there have been models that introduce crowdfunding in the framework of financing firms through their life cycle stages. We point the difficulty of encompassing crowdfunding in the mentioned models because of characteristics that are unique to it from the perspective of the investor and the firm. While it is not surprising that crowdfunding is used in development stages, these characteristics make it difficult to construct a model of financing firms that has traditional means of financing and crowdfunding.
This paper examines the agency model of dividends where the importance of dividends depends on the level of investor protection. The importance of dividends is presented by the dividend smoothing concept, while the level of investor protection is determined by the legal origin. Within this, the sensitivity of dividends to earnings changes was analyzed to examine the universality of the dividend smoothing phenomenon. Subsequently, the difference in proportions of dividend smoothing firms within the common law and civil law countries was tested to determine which of these two systems attributes more importance to dividends. Finally, the application of Lintner’s model was examined in transition countries as well as in United States. Research results show that dividend smoothing is a globally widespread phenomenon, but the likelihood to reduce or cut dividends is greater in civil law countries. Also, the largest percentage of dividend smoothing firms was recorded in common law countries.
The idea that working capital management impacts profitability and risk of a company is generally accepted and in last 10-15 years has acquired a substantial interest. Accordingly, from the aspect of the measure of efficiency of working capital management, the objective of this paper is to evaluate working capital management impact on profitability of Croatian software companies. This impact was examined using descriptive and correlation as well as panel regression analysis for six-year period (2008-2013). The results show that after controlling for characteristics of the company and macroeconomic conditions working capital management significantly affects the profitability of Croatian software firms. Moreover, the results imply the existence of a nonlinear, concave quadratic relationship between the net working capital and return on assets. This suggest the existence of an optimal level of net working capital that balances costs and benefits and maximizes profitability of analysed companies.