DEFINITION of 'Price-To-Research Ratio - PRR'

A measure of the relationship between a company's market capitalization and its research and development (R&D) expenses. The price-to-research ratio is calculated by dividing a company's market value by its last 12 months' worth of R&D expenditures. PRR is very important in research-based businesses such as pharmaceutical companies, software companies, hardware companies and consumer products companies. Without spending on scientific and technological work, these firms cannot generate new products, processes or services and will not grow, increase their market share or improve their profitability.

BREAKING DOWN 'Price-To-Research Ratio - PRR'

In an industry heavily dependent on R&D, the price-to-research ratio is an important indicator of a company's ability to generate profits. Increasing earnings cannot tell the whole story because a company can increase earnings by slashing R&D expenses, which may stifle long-term growth and profitability. However, a favorable price-to-research ratio does not guarantee the success of future product innovations, nor does a large amount of R&D spending guarantee future profits. What really matters is how effectively the company is employing its R&D dollars. Also, the appropriate level of R&D spending varies by industry and depends on the company's development stage.

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