Accounting - Financial ratios

Analysing and interpreting financial statements through financial ratios

  • Created by: Joanna
  • Created on: 10-04-12 15:10

Ratio Analysis

  • Compares two related figures, usually both from the same set of financial statements
  • Is an aid to understand what the financial statements really mean
  • Is an inexact science so results must be interpreted cautiously
  • Past periods, the performance of similar businesses and planned performance are often used to provide benchmark ratios
  • A brief overview of the financial statements can often provide insights that may not be revealed by ratios and/or may help in the interpretation of them
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Profitability ratio - concerned with effectiveness

- Return on ordinary shareholders' fund (ROSF)

- Return on capital employed (ROCE)

- Operating profit margin

- Gross profit margin

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Efficiency Ratios - concerned with the efficiency

- Average inventories turnover period

- Average settlement period for trade receivables

- Average settlement period for trade payables

- Sales revenue to capital employed

- Sales revenue per employee

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Liquidity ratios - concerned with the ability to m

- Current ratio

- Acid test ratio

- Cash generated from operations to maturing obligations ratio

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Gearing ratios - concerned with the relationship b

- Gearing ratio

- Interest cover ratio

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Investment ratio - concerned with returns to share

- Dividend payout ratio 

- Dividend yield ratio

- Earnings per share

- Cash generated from operations per share

- Price/earnings ratio

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Trend analysis

Individual ratios can be tracked (i.e. plotted on a graph) to detect trends

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Ratios as predictors of financial failure

- Univariate analysis - looking at just one ratio over time in an attempt to predict financial failure

- Multiple discriminate analysis - looking at several ratios, put together in a model, over time in an attempt to predict financial failure - Z scores

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Limitations of ratio analysis

- Ratios are only as reliable as the financial statements from which they derive

- Inflation can distort the information

- Ratios have restricted vision

- It can be difficult to find a suitable benchmark (i.e. another business) as comparator

- Some ratios could mislead due to the 'snapshot' nature of the statement of financial position

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This is pretty good, but it would be even more useful if you'd put in the actual ratios and calculations! Well Done anyway!

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