4 Basic financial ratios and what they reveal

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Financial dataFinancial ratios are a great way to understand how your business is currently operating and how its performance compares to previous years. Here are 4 key ratios and what they say about your business.

Working capital ratio – A company’s liquidity is important to understand the health of a company. The working capital ratio is calculated by dividing the current assets by its current liabilities. For example, a company that has $8m in current assets with current liabilities of $4m will have a ratio of 2:1. This means that this firm will be better able to pay off its debts.

Quick Ratio (Acid Test) – This ratio is calculated by deducting inventories from current assets and then dividing that figure by This calculation is done to show how well cash covers current liabilities. Inventories are deducted from the calculation, as they can take the time to sell. For example, if a company has $8 million in current assets minus $2m in inventories over $4m in current liabilities, that’s a 1.5:1 ratio. Companies should aim for a 1:1 ratio.

Earnings per Share – Earnings per share calculates the income or loss that is earned on each share. This calculation is measured by dividing the company’s net income with the average number of common shares.

Debt-Equity Ratio – Excess borrowing can weaken a firm. This calculation involves adding outstanding long and short-term debt and dividing it by the book value of shareholders’ equity. This value should be analyzed as per industry standards.