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The objective of this work was to identify the main economic and financial indicators which should be considered in the evaluation of the performance of agricultural cooperatives. Cooperatives have two dimensions, social and economic, and studies have shown that, in agricultural cooperatives, the social performance is a consequence of the economic performance. Therefore, the performance of these entities was evaluated using economic and financial indicators. Applying the Factor Analysis statistical technique to 150 financial statements of agricultural cooperatives from São Paulo state, from 2001 to 2006, it was possible to find out the level of correlation among several indicators, as well as to group them into factors. Four main factors were found by combining indicators. It can be concluded that the application of factorial analysis made the choice of the key indicators more objective. Grouping these indicators into factors made it possible to analyze simultaneously various indicators and the classification and comparison of the performance of the agricultural cooperatives was more objective.


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