Our analysis tells us that goodwill accounts for more than 3 percent of S&P 500 assets, a dollar value of more than $3 trillion. Thanks to the brisk rate of acquisitions over the last few years, average goodwill per S&P 500 firm has jumped 35.4 percent since 2014, from $5.1 to $6.9 billion. Given that a large majority of mergers and acquisitions fail and you start to see the importance of tracking performance of past acquisitions.
"When a company writes down goodwill, it essentially says it overpaid, either because executives overestimated the earnings that would flow from the deal, or underestimated the challenge of integrating the companies. Write-offs surged after the 2008 financial crisis as stock prices plunged and companies lowered profit forecasts."
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