Assessing the Value Relevance of Goodwill Impairment Considering Country-Specific Factors: Evidence from EU Listed Companies

Enrico Laghi, Marco Mattei, Michele di Marcantonio


The objective of this paper is to assess the value relevance of goodwill impairment losses with reference to the listed companies operating in the European Union area during the period from 2008 to 2011. We investigate whether the information of goodwill impairment is a relevant factor that influences the investment decisions of market operators, testing the statistical significance and the explanatory power of a multivariate regression model widely known in literature for estimating market stock prices of companies using balance sheet data, including goodwill impairment. To this end, we select two samples of companies: a first group of listed companies operating in United Kingdom from 2008 to 2011 that is similar to the one used in previous researches on the same topic; a second group of firms operating in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom that reported a goodwill impairment loss for the same period, to extend the analyses also to other economic contexts. Each sample is split into further subsamples differentiated in terms of country of domicile, reference year, industry sector and level of relative importance of goodwill impairments. We propose some changes to the original model, including a new explanatory variable aimed at considering also country-specific differences. The analyses of subsamples show that goodwill impairment is significant only for two years (2008 and 2009) and for French listed companies across all periods. Therefore, further investigation should help in understanding these differences that could be related to country-specific factors such as cultural, environmental and regulatory aspects.

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International Journal of Economics and Finance  ISSN  1916-971X (Print) ISSN  1916-9728 (Online)

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