Determining a method to measure the capital intensity for enterprises listed in the industrial sector of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for the period 1989 to 1996

Erasmus, Petrus Daniel (2001-04)

Assignment (MComm)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A definite need exists for a measure which can be used to determine the degree of capital intensity of an enterprise. One of the main reasons why it is important to determine if an enterprise is capital or labour intensive is that the two types of enterprises react to changes in the economic environment in different ways. Some changes in the economic factors will have a totally different effect on a capital intensive enterprise than they would have on a labour intensive one. The degree of capital intensity of an enterprise can therefore be used to predict how it will react to economic changes, and it is therefore a valuable source of information for financial decision-making. The measurement of capital intensity, however, presents a major problem. A large number of different measures have been developed and used in the literature. These measures include the measures of total assets to revenue; property, plant and equipment to revenue; property, plant and equipment to total assets; depreciation as a percentage of revenue; as well as property, plant and equipment per employee. A number of measures are also based on value added figures, and these include salaries to revenue; value added per employee; property, plant and equipment to value added; and salaries to value added. In the literature most researchers provide no or little justification for their preferred measure of capital intensity. The main objective of the study is to determine an appropriate method to measure capital intensity. For this purpose the above-mentioned measures, which are generally used to determine capital intensity, are considered critically and evaluated by classifying enterprises listed in the Industrial Sector of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange during the period 1989 to 1996. During this period the South African economy experienced a decline, followed by an upswing in the economic cycle. Principal component analyses (PCA) are used to analyse the data. These analyses are carried out for each year separately as well as for the period as a whole. Biplots are used to provide a multidimensional graphic representation of the results. The results indicate that the five traditional measures of capital intensity which are not based on value added figures are all suitable to use as measures of capital intensity. Only one of the measures based on value added figures, however, are able to indicate capital intensity. The five traditional measures of capital intensity which are not based on value added figures, as well as the measure property, plant and equipment to value added, are therefore included in the principal component analyses. The principal component scores obtained from the first principal component are proposed as a composite measure of capital intensity. These principal component scores represent a linear combination of the six measures of capital intensity. The relative contributions of the various measures to this composite measure are also investigated, and it is found that all six the measures provide an important contribution. The results indicate that a number of enterprises listed in the Stores and Food sectors are relatively less capital intensive, while enterprises listed in the Building and Construction, Engineering, Steel and Allied, and Electronics sectors are relatively capital intensive. A visual evaluation of the results indicates that the proposed method IS able to distinguish between capital and less capital intensive enterprises. The results of the study provide researchers with a more efficient way of measuring capital intensity, and can be used to provide more information about the effect of changes in the economic cycle on the expected financial performance of enterprises.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Duidelike behoefte bestaan VIr 'n maatstaf wat gebruik kan word om die kapitaalintensiteit van 'n onderneming te bepaal. Een van die vernaamste redes waarom dit belangrik is om te bepaal of 'n onderneming kapitaal- of arbeidsintensief is, is die verskillende wyses waarop die twee tipes ondernemings gedurende 'n verandering in die ekonomiese siklus reageer. Sommige veranderinge in die ekonomiese faktore sal die teenoorgestelde effek op 'n kapitaalintensiewe onderneming hê as wat dit op 'n arbeidsintensiewe onderneming mag hê. 'n Onderneming se graad van kapitaalintensiteit kan dus gebruik word om te voorspel hoe die onderneming op ekonomiese veranderinge sal reageer, en is dus 'n belangrike bron van inligting by finansiële besluitneming. Die meting van kapitaalintensiteit is egter 'n belangrike probleem. 'n Groot aantal verskillende maatstawwe van kapitaalintensiteit is ontwikkel en word algemeen in die literatuur gebruik. Hierdie maatstawwe sluit totale bates tot inkomste; eiendom, aanleg en toerusting tot inkomste; eiendom, aanleg en toerusting tot totale bates; depresiasie as 'n persentasie van inkomste; asook eiendom, aanleg en toerusting tot aantal werknemers in. 'n Aantal maatstawwe wat op waarde toegevoeg gebaseer is, is ook ontwikkel, en sluit die maatstawwe salarisse tot inkomste; waarde toegevoeg per werknemer; eiendom, aanleg en toerusting tot waarde toegevoeg; asook salarisse tot waarde toegevoeg in. In die literatuur verskaf die meeste navorsers min of geen motivering vir die spesifieke maatstaf wat hul voorkeur geniet nie. Die primêre doelstelling van die studie is om 'n geskikte metode te vind om kapitaalintensiteit te meet. Ten einde hierdie doelstelling te bereik, word die bogenoemde maatstawwe, wat algemeen gebruik word as maatstawwe van kapitaalintensiteit, krities ondersoek en geëvalueer deur ondernemings wat genoteer is in die Industriële Sektor van die Johannesburgse Aandelebeurs gedurende die periode 1989 tot 1996 te klassifiseer. Gedurende hierdie periode het die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie 'n afname, gevolg deur 'n opswaai in die ekonomiese siklus beleef. Hoofkomponent analises word gebruik om die verskillende maatstawwe te evalueer. Die analises word individueel uitgevoer vir elke jaar, sowel as vir die periode as 'n geheel. Bi-stippings word gebruik om 'n meerdimensionele grafiese voorstelling van die resultate te verskaf. Die resultate toon dat die vyf tradisionele maatstawwe van kapitaalintensiteit wat nie op waarde toegevoeg gebaseer is nie almal geskik is om as maatstawwe van kapitaalintensiteit gebruik te word. Slegs een van die maatstawwe wat op waarde toegevoeg gebaseer is, is egter in staat om kapitaalintensiteit aan te toon. Die vyf tradisionele maatstawwe van kapitaalintensiteit, sowel as die maatstaf eiendom, aanleg en toerusting tot waarde toegevoeg, word derhalwe ingesluit in die hoofkomponent analises, en die hoofkomponenttellings wat verkry word uit die eerste hoofkomponent word as 'n saamgestelde maatstaf van kapitaalintensiteit voorgestel. Hierdie hoofkomponenttellings verteenwoordig 'n liniëre kombinasie van die ses maatstawwe van kapitaalintensiteit. Die relatiewe bydraes van die verskillende maatstawwe tot die saamgestelde maatstaf word ook ondersoek. Die resultate dui aan dat 'n aantalondernemings wat in die Winkels en Voedsel sektore genoteer is relatief minder kapitaalintensief is, terwyl ondernemings wat in die Boubedryf, Ingenieurswese, Staal en Bedrywe, asook die Elektronika sektore genoteer is, relatief kapitaalintensief is. 'n Visuele evaluasie van die resultate toon aan dat die voorgestelde maatstaf in staat is om tussen kapitaalintensiewe en minder kapitaalintensiewe ondernemings te onderskei. Die resultate van die studie stel navorsers in staat om 'n meer effektiewe meting van kapitaalintensiteit te verkry, en kan ook meer inligting verskaf oor die invloed van veranderinge in die ekonomiese siklus op die verwagte finansiële prestasie van ondernemings.

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