Empirical studies on international expansion have shown only limited support for the three-stage (S-curve) hypothesis. Whilst the basic concept is intuitively acceptable, the very generality of the paradigm is its weakness in empirical studies. This paper takes a more fine-grained theoretical and empirical approach by distinguishing between the regions covered by different multinational companies. The regional scope covered by a multinational firm makes a substantial difference with regard to its performance. We find that most firms can enhance their performance by focusing on their home region, whilst only a subset of firms operating in both the home and foreign regions show the overall S-curve relationship between multinationality and performance. Certain combinations of product diversification and regional coverage also enhance performance.