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Author: TMFDagger One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2209  
Subject: Re: Multiple Regression Analysis Date: 4/22/1999 6:25 PM
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"multiple regression analysis"
Anyone have any idea what that is? ;)


I'm a relatively new Techie Fool with a background in statistics, so I'll take a stab at explaining this one. Multiple regression analysis is a fairly common tool in statistical analysis which is used to model the relationship between several "independent" variables and a single "dependent" variable. The idea is to determine which if any of the independent variables are strongly related to the dependent variable. I haven't looked at what Value Line does, but it is likely that their dependent variable is some performance scale such as % Return over some time period. The independent variables are probably common predictors of performance (P/E, Yield, ROE, management quality, etc.). In this case, you would gather all sorts of historical data about a large sample of different companies, and perform multiple regression analysis on this data. This results in a model which describes how the predictors are statistically related to the performance measure.

The key to understanding the usefulness of multiple regression is that it's all about relationships and correlations among the variables involved. It's not about finding a magic equation to predict a particular stock's future performance. It is a descriptive model, not a predictive model. In other words, you might be able to determine that P/E ratio is a statistically significant predictor of a stock's performance. But you can't get much more from a regression model than a rough guesstimate as to what the performance of stock XYZ will be in the future.
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