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# Ratio Analysis Objectives, Advantages And Limitations

June 30, 2021
Bill Kimball

The solvency ratio represents the ability of a company to pay it’s long term obligations. This ratio compares your company’s non-cash expenses and net income after taxes to your total liabilities . The cash ratio is different from both the quick and current ratios in that it only takes into account assets that are the easiest to convert into cash.

Assessing a company’s stability requires the use of both the income statement and the balance sheet, as well as other financial and non-financial indicators. These ratios are used to evaluate the current share price of a publicly-held company’s stock.

These ratios are used to evaluate the ability of a business to meet its debt obligations. These ratios are most commonly used by lenders and creditors to review the finances of a prospective or current borrower. Examples of coverage ratios are the interest coverage ratio, debt-service coverage ratio, and asset coverage ratio.

## Why Do Shareholders Need Financial Statements?

Ratios are typically only comparable across companies within the same sector. For example, a debt-equity ratio that might be normal for a utility company might be deemed unsustainably high for a technology play.

This would need to be compared to others in the same industry to determine whether this is a high or low figure. Activity ratios provide useful insights regarding an organization’s ability to leverage existing assets efficiently.

The potential investor’s objective of ratio analysis would be to determine how well they performed compared to resources available. Two different companies both with a profit of 1 million have certainly done well. But if the first company had capital of 10 million while the second had capital of 100 million the Return on Capital Employed for each company would be 10% and 1% respectively.

An example of this would be a to examine the revenue of a technology company before and after a patent on one of its products expires. When an account nor business owner just a comparative analysis using only absolute amounts then there can be drawbacks with materiality. One of the primary methods for analyzing financial statements is known as horizontal analysis. Horizontal analysis is also referred to as trend analysis, which studies the behavior the individual items on a financial statement over multiple accounting periods. His accounting periods can be several quarters inside the same fiscal year or they can be different years altogether. Additionally the analysis may focus on trends of an item in percentages, or as an absolute dollar figure. An example of this would be if a business owner observed that revenue increased from one period to the next by 35% of the total value or by \$20 million .

Common liquidity ratios are the current ratio, the quick ratio, and the cash ratio. The current ratio is an indicator of your company’s ability to pay its short term liabilities . The main purpose of conducting financial analysis is to measure a business’s profitability and solvency. The actual metrics tracked and methods applied vary from stakeholder to stakeholder, depending on his or her interests and needs. For example, equity investors are interested in the long-term earnings power of the organization and perhaps the sustainability and growth of dividend payments. Creditors want to ensure the interest and principal is paid on the organizations debt securities (e.g., bonds) when due. For example, a company with \$2 million in total assets and \$500,000 in total liabilities would have a debt ratio of 25%.

The P/E ratio is used by investors to determine if a share of a company’s stock is over or underpriced. The dividend yield is an important ratio for investors as it illustrates the return on their investment. The ROE measures the firm’s ability to generate profits from every unit of shareholder equity.

Ratios of risk such as the current ratio, the interest coverage, and the equity percentage have no theoretical benchmarks. It is, therefore, common to compare them with the industry average over time. If a firm has a higher equity ratio than the industry, this is considered less risky than if it is below the average. Similarly, if the equity ratio increases over time, it is a good sign in relation to insolvency risk.

These ratios convey how well a company can generate profits from its operations. Profit margin, return on assets, return on equity, return on capital employed, and gross margin ratios are all examples of profitability ratios. In conclusion, the objectives of ratio analysis depend on the specific user. We have identified measuring profitability, operational efficiency, solvency, liquidity, financial strength, financial analysis and forecasting as distinct ratio analysis objectives. Everybody understands the concept of net income which is calculated by subtracting operating expenses from operating revenue. However, a potential investor would want a deeper understanding of the profit.

## Inventory Turnover Ratio

The DCR shows the ratio of cash available for debt servicing to interest, principal, and lease payments. The higher this ratio, the easier it is for a company to take on new debt.

• Liquidity is the firm’s ability to pay off short term debts, and solvency is the ability to pay off long term debts.
• The objective of ratio analysis is to process financial statement information to give it meaning.
• That means that the current value will have changed during those years.
• Hypothetically say that you ran a business and your current liabilities were skyrocketing.

Individual investors or firms that are interested in investing in small businesses use financial analysis techniques in evaluating target companies’ financial information. Financial analysis can also assist small-business owners as they weigh the effect of certain decisions, such as borrowing, on their own companies. Financial ratios allow business managers and investors to establish logical mathematical relationships between different variables that are listed in the financial statements. Most analytical measures are expressed as percentages or ratios, which allows for easy comparison with other businesses in the industry regardless of absolute company size. Vertical analysis, which is a proportional analysis of financial statements, lists each line item in the financial statement as the percentage of another line item. For example, on an income statement each line item will be listed as a percentage of gross sales.

Calculate each ratio over a large number of reporting periods, to see if there is a trend in the calculated information. The trend can indicate financial difficulties that would not otherwise be apparent if ratios were being examined for a single period.

Liquidity ratios focus on a firm’s ability to pay its short-term debt obligations. The information you need to calculate these ratios can be found on your balance sheet, which shows your assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity. Financial ratiosare measurements of a business’ financial performance. Ratios help an owner or other interested parties develop an understand the overall financial health of the company. This shows the relative proportion of shareholders’ equity and debt used to finance a company’s assets. Once again, comparisons should be made between companies in the same industry in order to determine whether this is a low or high figure.

To get an overall picture of the efficiency of assets turnover ratios and efficiency ratios can play a major role. It is based on profit a business survives and plans for further expansion. Thus if we say business has earned a certain amount of profit we are not sure how good or bad the figure is.

If a firm is interested in investing in a small business, its financial analysts will likely examine the company’s past and current financial statements. The objective would be to discover possible weaknesses and any problem areas that should be discussed with company owners. The analysts would look for unusual movements in items from year to year and for patterns in revenue and profits. Steady growth is normally positive, and severe ups and downs might be a sign of discord. Cash flow statements should indicate how the business normally obtains and uses cash. The management team of a small business might conduct a similar analysis as a part of an annual review of the business. The company’s financial adviser or accountant might participate in such reviews.

• You should be able to understand what a ratio means and why they would be useful in comparing data financial data. A low inventory turnover is generally a sign of efficient inventory management. Inventory turnover measures the efficiency of the firm in managing and selling inventory. Reviewing the annual reports of a company’s suppliers, customers, and competitors. Ratio analysis explains relationships between past information while users are more concerned about current and future information. Assists in trend analysis which involves comparing a single company over a period.

An investor would prefer to have his capital employed with the first company. Now that we understand what ratio analysis is we can look at the objectives of ratio analysis.

The fixed charge ratio indicates how many times the firm can cover interest payments. The fixed charge ratio includes lease payments as well as interest payments. The times interest earned ratio does not consider the possibility of higher interest rates. Inventory turnover is calculated with cost of goods sold in the numerator. A document filed with the SEC by companies selling securities to the public, containing much of the same information as the annual report as well as additional detail. Understanding the economic and political environment in which the company operates.

Debt utilization ratios provide a comprehensive picture of the company’s solvency or long-term financial health. The debt ratio is a financial ratio that indicates the percentage of a company’s assets that are provided via debt. It is the ratio of total debt (the sum of current liabilities and long-term liabilities) and total assets (the sum of current assets, fixed assets, and other assets such as “goodwill”). A company can improve its liquidity ratios by raising the value of its current assets, reducing current liabilities by paying off debt, or negotiating delayed payments to creditors. Profitability ratios are going to vary from industry to industry, so comparisons should be between other companies in the same field. When comparing companies in the same industry, the company with the higher profit margin is able to sell at a higher price or lower expenses.