Ratio analysis is an accounting technique used to compare one figure with another figure. For example if the A business is twice as big as the B business we could represent the ratio of the sizes of the two business in the
A : B = 2 : 1
Ratios help us to instantly check whether a business is sound, and also to compare ratios over a period in time. Ratios can be used for the following purposes:
1. Examining trends in results over a number of years.
2. Comparing the results of a business with results of other businesses.
3. Comparing the results of the business with the average results of all
businesses in that sector.
In business we also use the term ratio to apply to other measures such as calculations e.g. profit figures.
Here are some of the most important ratios used in business:
Profit margin ratios:
Gross profit % = (Gross profit / Sales) x 100%
Operating profit % = (Operating profit / Sales) x 100%
Gearing ratio = (Preference share debt - cash at bank) / Equity
Return on ordinary shareholders funds = (Net profit before tax / Average Equity) x 100%
Return on capital employed (ROCE) = (Operating profit / Average capital employed) x 100%
Earnings yield = (Earnings per share / Share Price) x 100%
Earnings per share = Net profit (after tax and preference divi) / Number of ordinary shares
Price/earnings ratio = Market price of share / Earnings per share
Dividend yield = (Dividend per share / Market price of share) x 100%
Dividend cover = Net profit / Dividends
Interest cover = Profit (before interest and tax) / Intrest payable for year
Working capital (current ratio) = Current assets / Current Liabilities
Acid or quick test ratio = (Current assets - stock) / Current Liabilities
Debtor days and creditor days:
Debtor days = (Average trade debtors / Credit sales) x 365 days
Creditor days = (Average trade creditors / Credit Purchases) x 365 days