To form optimum firm capital structure strategies to face unanticipated economic events, firm managers should understand the stability of a firm's capital structure. The aim of this research was to study whether the debt ratio is stationary in listed firms on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Two vital capital structure concepts regarding pecking order and trade-off theory are fairly contradictory. Using opposing theoretical contexts, the Sequential Panel Selection Method apparently categorizes which and how many series are stationary processes in the panel. This method was used to test the mean reverting properties of the 25 companies listed on Dow Jones Industrial Average between 2001 and 2017 in this study, which is expected to fill the current gap in the literature. The overall results show that stationary debt ratios exist in 10 of the 25 studied firms, supporting the trade-off theory. Moreover, the 10 firms utilizing trade-off theory are affected by firm size, profitability, growth opportunity, and dividend payout ratio. These results provide vital information for firms to certify strategies to optimize capital structure.
debt ratio trade-off theory Sequential Panel Selection Method stationarity