- Debt to equity ratio
The debt to equity ratio (D/E) is a
financial ratioindicating the relative proportion of equity and debtused to finance a company's assets. This ratio is also known as Risk, Gearing or Leverage. It is equal to total debt divided by shareholders' equity. The two components are often taken from the firm's balance sheetor statement of financial position (so-called book value), but the ratio may also be calculated using market values for both, if the company's debt and equity are publicly traded, or using a combination of book value for debt and market value for equity. Preferred sharescan be considered part of debt or equity. Attributing preferred shares to one or the other is partially a subjective decision but will also take into account the specific features of the preferred shares.
When used to calculate a company's
financial leverage, the debt usually includes only the Long Term Debt (LTD). Quoted ratios can even exclude the current portion of the LTD. The composition of equity and debt and its influence on the value of the firm is much debated and also described in the Modigliani-Miller theorem.
Financial analysts and stock market quotes will generally not include other types of liabilities, such as
accounts payable, although some will make adjustments to include or exclude certain items from the formal financial statements. Adjustments are sometimes also made to, for example, exclude intangible assets, and this will affect the formal equity; debt to equity will therefore also be affected.
economists and academic papers will usually refer to all liabilities as debt, and the statement that equity plus liabilities equals assets is therefore an accounting identity (it is, by definition, true). Other definitions of debt to equity may not respect this accounting identity, and should be carefully compared.
:D/E = Debt (Liabilities)/ Equity
(Sometimes only interest-bearing long-term debt is used instead of total liabilities in the calculation)
A similar ratio is debt-to-total assets (D/A), also known as debt-to-value:
:D/A = debt / assets = debt / (debt + equity)
The relationships between D/E and D/A are:
:D/A = D/E / (1 + D/E)
:D/E = D/A / (1 – D/A)
In the financial industry (particularly banking), a similar concept is equity to total assets (or equity to risk-weighted assets), otherwise known as
capital adequacy::Capital Adequacy = E / ASince D + E = A (by the accounting equation), D/A + E/A = 1, so E/A = 1 - D/A. For instance, if a company has 10% capital adequacy, they have 90% debt-to-assets.
balance sheet, the formal definition is that debt (liabilities) plus equity equals assets, or any equivalent reformulation. Both the formulas below are therefore identical::A = D + E:E = A – D or D = A – E
Debt to equity can also be reformulated in terms of assets or debt:
:D/E = D /(A – D) = (A – E) / E
General Electric Co. ( [http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=GE&annual] )
*Debt / equity: 4.304 (total debt / stockholder equity) (340/79)
*Other equity / shareholder equity: 7.177 (568,303,000/79,180,000)
Equity ratio: 12% (shareholder equity / all equity) (79,180,000/647,483,000)
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