The attainment of going concern concept of an entity relies heavily on its ability to maximize the wealth of its shareholders and value. The prospect of a firm to investors is a function of return, which signals to the market its good governance. The study examined the influence of shareholders’ return on the value of manufacturing firms listed on Nigerian Stock Exchange using annual reports and accounts of 36 selected firms for a period of twenty years, between 2007 and 2016 (720 firm year observations). The results of the multivariate regression analysis (fixed effect) revealed that past dividend, agency cost, debt-equity ratio, and size have significant positive effect on market capitalization of listed manufacturing firms in Nigeria; while earnings per share and sales growth have insignificant negative influence on value of a firm though, the magnitude is immaterial. The study concluded that managers should look beyond the signaling effect of dividend, but place the interests of the key stakeholders (shareholders, management, employees, and loan holders) as well as the growth and expansion of the business at the centre of their decision-making. Especially on the proportion of earnings to be paid as dividend and the nature of dividend policy to be adopted to enhance its value.
Key words: Past dividend, earnings, agency cost, market capitalization, stakeholders.