Total Debt-to-Total Assets Ratio: Meaning, Formula, and What’s Good

what is a debt ratio

This ratio provides a snapshot of a company’s short-term liquidity and its ability to meet immediate financial obligations using its most liquid assets. As a business owner or managerial figure in the corporate finance world, it can be difficult to determine if your company has a positive profit outlook if you aren’t considering long-term debt ratios. Common debt ratios include debt-to-equity, debt-to-assets, long-term debt-to-assets, and leverage and gearing ratios. The higher the debt ratio, the more leveraged a company is, implying greater financial risk.

What Is the Total Debt-to-Total Assets Ratio?

  1. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1.5 would indicate that the company in question has $1.50 of debt for every $1 of equity.
  2. This can negate the belief that long-term debt ratios are always better when they are lower.
  3. Capital-intensive businesses, such as utilities and pipelines tend to have much higher debt ratios than others like the technology sector.
  4. The debt ratio is defined as the ratio of total debt to total assets, expressed as a decimal or percentage.
  5. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance.

However, at times the debt includes only the long-term assets, while at times the debt includes the entire set of liabilities including short-term debt and other liabilities. Such variations in calculations are quite common and the inclusions are mentioned in the fine print or the notes of the financial statements so that the stakeholders are aware of the calculation methodology. What counts as a good debt ratio will depend on the nature of the business and its industry. Generally speaking, a debt-to-equity or debt-to-assets ratio below 1.0 would be seen as relatively safe, whereas ratios of 2.0 or higher would be considered risky. Some industries, such as banking, are known for having much higher debt-to-equity ratios than others. In the consumer lending and mortgage business, two common debt ratios used to assess a borrower’s ability to repay a loan or mortgage are the gross debt service ratio and the total debt service ratio.

Understanding the Total Debt-to-Total Assets Ratio

what is a debt ratio

The debt ratio offers stakeholders a quick snapshot of a company’s financial stability. While this could indicate aggressive financial practices to seize growth opportunities, it might also mean a higher risk of financial distress, especially if cash flows become inconsistent. operating income formula In a bear market environment (a market where prices are falling, which encourages selling), the ring of investing becomes much more competitive. Faced with many more options to choose from, investors are going to hone in on the companies with the least total debt.

Ask Any Financial Question

In the context of the debt ratio, total assets serve as an indicator of a company’s overall resources that could be utilized to repay its debt, if necessary. Buyers look at companies’ debt ratios differently in a bull market; however, where the power is shifted to purchasers rather than sellers. In this environment, investors like to see companies that can provide a higher margin of growth.

what is a debt ratio

How Do I Calculate Total Debt-to-Total Assets?

This assessment can be particularly vital for creditors, investors, and other stakeholders when evaluating the financial health of an organization. In a low-interest-rate environment, borrowing can be relatively cheap, prompting companies to take on more debt to finance expansion or other corporate initiatives. Different industries have varying levels of capital requirements, operational risks, and profitability margins. It offers insights into the company’s long-term solvency and its ability to meet its long-term obligations. If a company has too much debt to break even after selling assets, it will remain in the hole even after declaring bankruptcy. The company must also hire and train employees in an industry with exceptionally high employee turnover, adhere to food safety regulations for its more than 18,253 stores in 2022.

As businesses mature and generate steady cash flows, they might reduce their reliance on borrowed funds, thereby decreasing their debt ratios. This can negate the belief that long-term debt ratios are always better when they are lower. Sometimes, a company has to weigh the risks of increasing that ratio in order to profit off of a new venture. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1.5 would indicate that the company in question has $1.50 of debt for every $1 of equity. To illustrate, suppose the company had assets of $2 million and liabilities of $1.2 million. Since equity is equal to assets minus liabilities, the company’s equity would be $800,000.

Someone on our team will connect you with a financial professional in our network holding the correct designation and expertise. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others. Our goal how to file your own taxes is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos. Our team of reviewers are established professionals with decades of experience in areas of personal finance and hold many advanced degrees and certifications. At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content.


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