This study examines the cross-sectional financial performance among firms from the global information and communication technology (ICT) sector over the period 1998–2007. Using a pooled linear regression, the results show that U.S.-based ICT companies are on average underperforming the rest of the world after controlling for firm-specific variables known to affect firm financial performance. The results also show that characteristics of the firm's host country explain a statistically significant portion of the variation in firm performance, incremental to firm-level characteristics. More specifically, firms located in countries with attractive tax environments and high-government subsidies outperform their competitors in countries with less attractive tax environments and subsidies. Firms in financial markets that provide ICT firms with relatively favorable cost of capital underperform those in markets with a cost of capital less conducive to business development, which may suggest the cost of capital attracts new market competition that reduces overall profit. Countries with the best performing ICT firms are those with the highest industry focus, where a few industries dominate rather than an even distribution of firms across a broad range of industries. The findings have important implications for policymakers, business strategists, and investors.

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