FUNDAMENTALS
Analyzing a balance sheet

10 Key Financial Ratios for Analyzing a Balance Sheet

Analyzing a balance sheet involves assessing various financial ratios and metrics to understand a company's financial health and performance. The key ratios to consider are:

  1. Working Capital:
  2. Measures a company's ability to meet short-term obligations. Positive working capital means the company has enough assets to cover liabilities.

  3. Current Ratio:
  4. Measures a company's ability to pay current liabilities with current assets. An ideal ratio is 1:1.

  5. Quick Ratio:
  6. The quick ratio is like a superhero measure for a company's ability to pay its bills without having to sell stuff or borrow money. It's all about how well the company can handle its current debts without any extra help!

    A more stringent measure of liquidity, considering only highly liquid assets.

  7. Debt to Equity Ratio:
  8. The proportion of a company's financing that comes from debt versus equity. A high ratio may indicate that a company is taking on too much debt.

  9. Debt to Assets Ratio:
  10. The proportion of a company's assets that are financed through debt. A high ratio may indicate that a company is taking on too much debt.

  11. Asset Turnover Ratio:
  12. This measures a company's ability to generate revenue from its assets. A higher ratio indicates more efficient use of assets.

  13. Return on Assets (ROA):
  14. The efficiency with which a company generates profits from its assets. A higher ROA indicates that the company uses its assets more effectively.

  15. Return on Equity (ROE):
  16. The profitability of a company in relation to the equity invested in it. A higher ROE indicates that the company generates more profits for its shareholders.

  17. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO):
  18. Reflects the average number of days it takes a company to collect payment from customers.

    High DSO means company might be facing some problems getting paid on time. This can cause cash flow issues.

    A low DSO is a good sign! It means the company is getting its payments quickly, usually payment within 45 days indicates low DSO.

  19. Inventory Turnover Ratio:
  20. The speed at which a company sells its inventory. A higher ratio indicates that the company is efficiently managing its inventory and generating sales.

    A higher ratio number is a good sign because it usually means the company is making strong sales. On the flip side, a lower ratio might suggest weak sales and less demand for the goods they're selling.

Final Words

Analyzing key financial ratios is crucial as they offer insights into a company's financial health and performance. Positive working capital ensures short-term obligations can be met, while current and quick ratios indicate liquidity and debt management.
Efficient asset use and higher ROA/ROE enhance profitability. DSO impacts cash flow, and inventory turnover reflects sales efficiency. Monitoring these ratios helps make informed decisions and identify potential risks and opportunities.

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