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Again a striking result is that 23.9% of the US and 42.6% of the German firms distinctly denoted this as a non-important goal.
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These results raise an interesting question: why do so many US and German managers ignore the recommendations of the theoretical finance literature? Looking at the breakdown by size in Table 2 one is tempted to argue that the results depend on the level of sophistication of management. The relevance of the cash flow as well as the firm value objective of risk management using derivatives increases and the relevance of the accounting earnings objective decreases with size. For two thirds of the largest US companies and for almost half of the largest German companies derivatives hedging is primarily directed to a cash flow objective. There are no US and only three German firms in the largest size group that think of cash flow as an unimportant hedging objective. Larger companies in both countries are more often concerned with firm value when designing hedging strategies.

However the sophistication argument is not fully convincing as even in the largest size group there still are considerable numbers of companies focusing primarily on accounting earnings both in the US (23.1%) and Germany (37.0%). Only few of the largest US (7.7%) and German (11.1%) firms think of minimizing the volatility of accounting earnings as not being an important goal. Thus we have to conclude that cash flows and accounting earnings are important objectives for hedging strategies even in the group of the largest companies in both countries.