Potential Dividends Versus Actual Cash Flows In Firm Valuation

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Executive Summary

Practitioners and some academics use potential dividends rather than actual payments to shareholders for valuing a firm's equity. The authors underline the differences between the two methods and present some arguments supporting the thesis that firm valuation with potential dividends overstate the actual value of the firm's equity. In particular, consistently with DeAngelo and DeAngelo (2006, 2007), they underline that cash flows create value for shareholders only if they are withdrawn from the firm, and that the use of potential dividends may lead to contradictions.

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