An Analysis of Financial Ratios for the Oslo Stock Exchange
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Share prices are driven by companies’ operations, funding and the risk premium required by investors. This article examines financial ratios that may reflect these three variables for the Oslo Stock Exchange in the period 1997 to 2007. The operating profits of listed companies are high at present. However, there are indications that earnings are levelling off. Listed companies have increased their equity ratios and appear to be very robust. However, much of the increase in equity consists of intangible assets. Still, even with increased book value, profitability has remained at a historically high level. Valuation multiples provide a somewhat mixed picture of the pricing of equities on the Oslo Stock Exchange. We argue that it may be useful to use multiples that adjust for cyclically high earnings, and perhaps also for changes in the composition of equity.