# Debt-to-Asset Ratio: Calculation and Explanation

As a rule, short-term debt tends to be cheaper than long-term debt and is less sensitive to shifts in interest rates, meaning that the second company’s interest expense and cost of capital are likely higher. If interest rates are higher when the long-term debt comes due and needs to be refinanced, then interest expense will rise. These balance sheet categories may include items that would not normally be considered debt or equity in the traditional sense of a loan or an asset. Because the ratio can be distorted by retained earnings or losses, intangible assets, and pension plan adjustments, further research is usually needed to understand to what extent a company relies on debt. If the company faces any significant loses in the short term the business may not be able to sustain itself and it will go bankrupt.

With this information, investors can leverage historical data to make more informed investment decisions on where they think the company’s financial health may go. A valid critique of this ratio is that the proportion of assets financed by non-financial liabilities (accounts payable in the above example, but also things like taxes or wages payable) are not considered. In other words, the ratio does not capture the company’s entire set of cash “obligations” that are owed to external stakeholders – it only captures funded debt.

## Can Total Debt to Asset Ratio be used to compare Companies?

Short-term debt also increases a company’s leverage, of course, but because these liabilities must be paid in a year or less, they aren’t as risky. If both companies have \$1.5 million in shareholder equity, then they both have a D/E ratio of 1. On the surface, the risk from leverage is identical, but in reality, the second company is riskier. Different industries demand different degrees of leverage to function profitably. The debt to asset ratio is a measure that estimates how much of a company’s assets are financed through debt. It is an important metric that helps in determining the financial structure of a company, which is simply a breakdown of how its assets were financed, either through debt, equity or a mix.

• 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.
• Debt-to-equity ratio is most useful when used to compare direct competitors.
• Is this company in a better financial situation than one with a debt ratio of 40%?
• Contrarily, if the company’s assets yield low returns, a low debt ratio does not automatically translate into profitability.
• A ratio that equates to 1 or a 100% debt-to-total-assets ratio means that the company’s liabilities are equally the same as with its assets.

For example, start-up tech companies are often more reliant on private investors and will have lower total-debt-to-total-asset calculations. However, more secure, stable companies may find it easier to secure loans from banks and have higher ratios. In general, a ratio around 0.3 to 0.6 is where many investors will feel comfortable, though a company’s specific situation may yield different results. Debt-financed growth may serve to increase earnings, and if the incremental profit increase exceeds the related rise in debt service costs, then shareholders should expect to benefit. However, if the additional cost of debt financing outweighs the additional income that it generates, then the share price may drop.

The total-debt-to-total-asset ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s total debts by its total assets. For example, in the example above, Hertz is reporting \$2.9 billion of intangible assets, \$611 million of PPE, and \$1.04 billion of goodwill as part of its total \$20.9 billion of assets. Therefore, the company has more debt on its books than all of its current assets. Should all of its debts be called immediately by lenders, the company would be unable to pay all its debt, even if the total-debt-to-total-assets ratio indicates it might be able to. Investors use the ratio to evaluate whether the company has enough funds to meet its current debt obligations and to assess whether the company can pay a return on its investment. Creditors use the ratio to see how much debt the company already has and whether the company can repay its existing debt.

## How does Total Debt to Asset Ratio affect a company?

A ratio of greater than one means that a company owes more in debt than they possess in assets. While it may be beneficial for companies to have lower debt ratios in order to attract investors, this number should not be too low because the company will need some level of funding in order to operate successfully. A company in this case may be more susceptible to bankruptcy if it cannot repay its lenders. Thus, lenders and creditors will charge a higher interest rate on the company’s loans in order to compensate for this increase in risk. If the firm raises money through debt financing, the investors who hold the stock of the firm maintain their control without increasing their investment.

## Understanding the Total-Debt-to-Total-Assets Ratio

In contrast, if a business has a low long-term debt-to-assets ratio, it can signify the relative strength of the business. The same company has \$90,000 in long-term debt like business loans and other business debt. Other common financial stability ratios include times interest earned, is it better to use a bookkeeper, cpa or enrolled agent to file your taxes days sales outstanding, inventory turnover, etc. These measures take into account different figures from the balance sheet other than just total assets and liabilities. 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.

## Debt to assets ratio

The business is publicly traded and it has been operating for more than 10 years. The market currently sees this business as a highly risky one as it is too leveraged. Yet, the company’s managers see this leverage as an opportunity to grow the business, as they have many profitable projects where they can allocate the borrowed funds. The debt-to-asset ratio is considered a leverage ratio, measuring the overall debt of a business, and then comparing that debt with the assets or equity of the company. The debt-to-asset ratio can be useful for larger businesses that are looking for potential investors or are considering applying for a loan. During times of high interest rates, good debt ratios tend to be lower than during low-rate periods.

It’s great to compare debt ratios across companies; however, capital intensity and debt needs vary widely across sectors. The financial health of a firm may not be accurately represented by comparing debt ratios across industries. Bear in mind how certain industries may necessitate higher debt ratios due to the initial investment needed. The total funded debt — both current and long term portions — are divided by the company’s total assets in order to arrive at the ratio. This ratio is sometimes expressed as a percentage (so multiplied by 100). The total-debt-to-total-assets formula is the quotient of total debt divided by total assets.

Personal D/E ratio is often used when an individual or a small business is applying for a loan. Lenders use the D/E figure to assess a loan applicant’s ability to continue making loan payments in the event of a temporary loss of income. The result means that Apple had \$1.80 of debt for every dollar of equity.

## Can A Company’s Total-Debt-to-Total-Asset Ratio Be Too High?

The total-debt-to-total-assets ratio compares the total amount of liabilities of a company to all of its assets. The ratio is used to measure how leveraged the company is, as higher ratios indicate more debt is used as opposed to equity capital. To gain the best insight into the total-debt-to-total-assets ratio, it’s often best to compare the findings of a single company over time or compare the ratios of different companies. Total Debt to Asset Ratio, also known as Debt Ratio, is a financial measure of a company’s leverage, calculated by dividing its total debt by total assets. It is used to assess the solvency of an entity by indicating the proportion of its total assets that are financed with debt.

Because different industries have different capital needs and growth rates, a D/E ratio value that’s common in one industry might be a red flag in another. A company with a high D/A ratio will eventually take a penalty on its value, as the risk of default is higher than that of a company with 0 leverage. If you’re ready to learn your company’s debt-to-asset ratio, here are a few steps to help you get started. Calculating your business’s debt-to-asset ratio can provide interested parties with the numbers they need to make a decision on investing in or loaning funds to your company.

This often gives a company more flexibility, as companies can increase, decrease, pause, or cancel future dividend plans to shareholders. Alternatively, once locked into debt obligations, a company is often legally bound to that agreement. If a company has a negative D/E ratio, this means that it has negative shareholder equity. In most cases, this would be considered a sign of high risk and an incentive to seek bankruptcy protection. A D/E ratio of 1.5 would indicate that the company in question has \$1.50 of debt for every \$1 of equity.

Because equity is equal to assets minus liabilities, the company’s equity would be \$800,000. Its D/E ratio would therefore be \$1.2 million divided by \$800,000, or 1.5. On the other hand, the typically steady preferred dividend, par value, and liquidation rights make preferred shares look more like debt. Operating with a high degree of leverage may be what it takes to make a certain business profitable. While this structure may not be appropriate for other businesses, it may be for that one. Therefore, it is essential for the purpose of analyzing a company’s financial health that the D/A ratio is analyzed along with industry benchmarks.

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