Gearing Ratios: Definition, Types of Ratios, and How To Calculate

gearing ratio equation

Raising capital by continuing to offer more shares would help decrease your gearing ratio. For example, if you managed to raise $50,000 by offering shares, your equity would increase to $125,000, and your gearing ratio would decrease to 80%. This trend is also reflected by the equity ratio increasing from 0.5x to 0.7x and the debt ratio declining from 0.5x to 0.3x. For each year, we’ll calculate the three aforementioned gearing ratios, starting with the D/E ratio. In contrast, a higher percentage is typically better for the equity ratio.

gearing ratio equation

These companies have a monopoly in their market, which makes their debt less risky companies in a competitive market with the same debt levels. Lenders may use gearing ratios to decide whether or not to extend credit, and investors may use them to determine whether or not to invest in a business. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. A gearing ratio is a measure of financial leverage, i.e. the risks arising from a company’s financing decisions.

Gearing ratio analysis

Financial gearing ratios are a group of popular financial ratios that compare a company’s debt to other financial metrics such as business equity or company assets. Gearing ratios represent a measure of financial leverage that determines to what degree a company’s actions are funded by shareholder equity in comparison with creditors’ funds. A gearing ratio is a financial ratio that measures a company’s financial leverage or risk level. Gearing ratios compare a company’s debt to other financial metrics, such as assets or shareholder equity. Gearing ratios are essential fundamental analysis tools because they give insight into how a company funds its operations and whether it can survive a period of financial instability.

gearing ratio equation

Monopolistic companies often also have a higher gearing ratio because their financial risk is mitigated by their strong industry position. Additionally, capital-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, typically finance expensive equipment with debt, which leads to higher gearing ratios. There are many types of gearing ratios, but a common one to use is the debt-to-equity ratio. To calculate it, you add up the long-term and short-term debt and divide it by the shareholder equity. If you don’t have any shareholders, then you (the owner) are the only shareholder, and the equity in this equation is yours. The net gearing ratio is the most common gearing ratio used by analysts, lenders, and investors.

What is Gearing Ratio?

Well-known gearing ratios include debt-to-equity, debt-to-capital and debt-service ratios. Gearing ratios provide an insight into how a company funds its operations, relative to debt and equity. Using gearing ratios as part of your trading fundamental analysis strategy​​ helps to provide crucial financial ratios that can be utilised to make smarter trading decisions.

In contrast, another company with a ratio of 90% can be considered unattractive. Investors might also look at the capital gearing ratio as this tells them about a company’s capital structure. That is, it is the ratio between total equity and total debt, and it enables an investor to establish if a company has the proper capital structure or not. Investors use gearing ratios to establish whether a company is a worthwhile investment. Generally, investors prefer companies with strong balance sheets and low gearing ratios.

What is CFD trading?

The gearing ratio is a measure of financial leverage that demonstrates the degree to which a firm’s operations are funded by equity capital versus debt financing. Management uses the gearing ratio to make important corporate decisions that will reduce the overall financial risk exposure of the company. For instance, a company with a lousy gearing ratio relative to its competitors may decide to negotiate with creditors to convert their debt to equity. Other important decisions that management can make to relieve their financial stress include minimising their cost of operations (cutting expenses) or selling shares to the public.

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  • Companies with low gearing ratios maintain this by using shareholders’ equity to pay for major costs.
  • In general, the cost of debt is viewed as a “cheaper” source of capital up to a certain point, as long as the default risk is kept to a manageable level.
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  • In addition, loan agreements may require companies to operate with specified guidelines regarding acceptable gearing ratio calculations.

But high ratios may work well for certain companies, especially if they are capital-intensive as it shows they are investing in their growth. Conversely, equity ratio gives a measure of how financed a firm’s assets are by shareholder’s investments. Capital-intensive companies or those with a lot of fixed assets, like industrials, are likely to have more debt versus companies with fewer fixed assets. For example, utility companies typically have a high, acceptable gearing ratio since the industry is regulated.


This is because companies that have higher leverage have higher amounts of debt compared to shareholders’ equity. Entities with a high gearing ratio have higher amounts of debt to service, while companies with lower gearing ratio calculations have more equity to rely on for financing. Debt ratio is very similar to the debt to equity ratio, but as an alternative, it measures total debt against total assets. This ratio provides a measure to which degree a business’s assets are financed by debt. The risks of loss from investing in CFDs can be substantial and the value of your investments may fluctuate.

Make sure to use gearing ratios as part of your fundamental analysis, but not as a standalone measure and always utilise the ratios on a case-by-case basis. The analysis of gearing ratios is a very important aspect of fundamental analysis. Company ABC’s debt to equity ratio can be calculated by taking the total debt divided by the total equity, then take the ratio and multiply it by 100 to express the ratio as a percentage. Companies with low gearing ratios maintain this by using shareholders’ equity to pay for major costs. Capital that comes from creditors is riskier than money from the company’s owners since creditors still have to be paid back even if the business doesn’t generate income.

The results of gearing ratio analysis can add value to a company’s financial planning when compared over time. But as a one-time calculation, gearing ratios may not provide any real meaning. Therefore, gearing ratios are not a comprehensive measure of a business’s health and are just a fraction of the full picture.

It’s important to compare the net gearing ratios of competing companies—that is, companies that operate within the same industry. That’s because each industry has its own capital needs and relies on different growth rates. Gearing ratios are important financial metrics because they can help investors and analysts understand how much leverage a company has compared to its equity. Put simply, it tells you how much a company’s operations are funded by a form of equity versus debt.