Awkward Reality #35
Asking an executive to focus on maximized shareholder value can have dangerous consequences.
If a stock’s P/E ratio is 20-to-1, then only 5 percent of a firm’s value is driven by this year’s earnings. Put another way, 95 percent of shareholder value is driven by investors’ expectations of the future. Executives with rich stock options have “motive and opportunity” to manipulate these expectations… in ways that often damage the firm’s long-term health.