What is Debt-to-Equity Ratio?

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  • 30 Oct 2023
What is Debt-to-Equity Ratio?

Key Highlights

  • A measure of a company's dependence on debt is the debt-to-equity (D/E) ratio, which analyses all of its liabilities with shareholder equity.

  • The ratio of debt to equity varies according to industry, making it the best tool for comparing direct competitors or measuring changes in a company's exposure to debt over time.

  • A higher debt-to-earnings ratio suggests greater risk in comparison with similar companies, while a particularly low rate would indicate that the business does not take advantage of access to funding for expansion.

The Debt to Equity ratio is a leverage ratio that evaluates all debt and financial liabilities against all shareholders' equity. It is also referred to as the "debt-equity ratio," "risk ratio," or "gearing." The debt-to-equity ratio (D/E ratio) uses total equity as the denominator, while the debt-assets ratio uses total assets. This ratio shows the proportion of debt to equity financing in a company's capital structure.

A high debt-to-equity ratio can be good because it shows that the company is able to pay off its debts easily through cash flow and uses leverage to increase shareholder returns.

The calculation of the debt-to-equity ratio formula is carried out by dividing the company's total liabilities by shareholders' funds.

Short Formula DE ratio = total liabilities/shareholder's equity Net Assets = Assets - Liabilities

Long Formula Debt to equity ratio = short-term debt + long-term debt + fixed payment obligation /shareholders' equity

The calculations of debt-to-equity are as follows.

  1. Suppose that the whole firm's debt is 10,00,000 INR+1 crore, and its equity is 20,00,000 INR+2 crore.
  2. The debt to equity ratio is 1,00,00,000 INR 2,00,00,000 INR = 0.5
  3. The ratio of debt to equity in the company is 0.5, meaning that for each 1 INR of equity, there's 0.5 INR of debt.

There are several benefits to using the debt-to-equity ratio, including the following.

1. Transparency for investors

The calculation of the debt-to-equity ratio allows investors to assess the financial health of a company and its low or high liquidity.

2. Comparison with competitors:

Your management team can also help determine market competition and work towards an ideal debt-to-equity ratio, if necessary, by calculating your company's debt-to-equity ratio.

3. Understanding the earnings of shareholders

If your company has high or low debt, which has an impact on profits, you can find out. If profits decline, so will the dividends paid to shareholders.

4. Information on loan applications

With the debt-to-equity ratio, lenders and creditors can determine whether or not they can trust small businesses in relation to their loan applications. They'll also know if these small companies make regular instalment payments.

To help improve your Debt to Equity ratio, here are the following tips.

1. Pay down any loans

The rate starts to balance out when you have repaid the loan. Make sure that you don't borrow more money, as it could increase the debt-to-equity ratio.

2. Increase profitability

Work towards improving sales revenues and lowering costs to boost your company's profitability.

3. Improve inventory management.

It ensures that no money is wasted when effectively managing the company's inventory. Check that you don't have enough stock to meet the needs of filling orders.

4. Restructure debt.

If you have credit with high-interest rates, consider refinancing your existing debt. Restructuring can help reduce your debt-to-equity ratio when current market rates are low.

In analysing a company's funding strategy, the ratio of debt to equity is helpful. This ratio helps us determine whether the company has used equity or debt funding for its operations.

1. High DE Ratio

The high DE ratio is a sign of very high risk. This means that the company is taking on more debt to pay for its operations because it does not have sufficient funds. It implies that when the nation's finances are in deficit, it is taking on debt financing.

2. Lower DE Ratio

A low debt-to-equity ratio indicates that the company has an excess of shareholder equity and does not require borrowing money to fund its operations. The fact that the corporation has a larger amount of its capital than borrowed money is positive.


A gearing ratio used to compare a company's obligations to its shareholder equity is called debt-to-equity. Generally, the ratios of debt and equity differ from industry to industry, but companies tend to borrow amounts that are higher than their actual capital levels in order to encourage growth that can generate maximum profits.

If lenders or investors have been turned away because of the risk, a company with a DE ratio that exceeds its industry average might be unattractive to them. In addition, lenders and investors may find that companies with low debt-to-equity ratios are more favourable than their industry average. For any kind of financial understanding or to start stock trading, check out Kotak Securities.

FAQs on Debt-to-Equity Ratio

The optimum ratio of debt to equity is likely to vary a lot from one sector to another, but overall, the consensus is that it should be no higher than 2.0.

There is a high risk associated with the high debt-to-equity ratio. If it is a high ratio, this indicates that the company borrows money from other companies to finance its growth. Therefore, companies with a low ratio of debt to equity are frequently favoured by lenders and investors.

The lower value of the debt-to-equity ratio is considered favourable, as it indicates a reduced risk. So, if the ratio of debt to equity is 0.5, that means that the company has half its liabilities because it has equity.

The debt-to-equity ratio measures the total amount of a firm's debt to its overall equity. Investors can get a sense of how the company operates through its capital structure and whether it's solvent by using this ratio. Investors can use this way of investing in a company.

The bad debt ratio calculates how much of a company's net sales must be written off as bad debt expenses. To calculate it, divide the total amount of accounts receivable for the period by the amount of bad debt, then multiply the result by 100.

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