Conditional versus unconditional persistence of RNOA components: Implications for valuation

Eli Amir*, Itay Kama, Joshua Livnat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Financial analysis often involves decomposing variables into components, emphasizing the structured hierarchy among ratios. We distinguish between unconditional persistence (a variable's autocorrelation coefficient), and conditional persistence (the power of a variable's persistence to explain the persistence of a variable higher in the hierarchy). We argue that a variable's conditional persistence determines the magnitude of its market reaction, allowing us to predict the relative magnitude of the market reaction to a ratio depending on its hierarchal level in the analysis. We examine the market reaction to the DuPont ratios and find that, while the unconditional persistence of asset turnover (ATO) is larger than that of operating profit margin (OPM), the conditional persistence of OPM is larger than that of ATO. Thus, we predict and find that the market's reaction to OPM is stronger than that to ATO. We further decompose OPM and ATO into their second-order components and show that the market reaction depends on a component's conditional persistence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-327
Number of pages26
JournalReview of Accounting Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • DuPont decomposition
  • Financial analysis
  • Market reaction
  • Persistence
  • Ratios


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