Which is better: A high or low equity multiplier?

equity multiplier

This equation uses EM in conjunction with other values to determine the Return on Equity (ROE). The multiplier ratio is also used in the DuPont analysis to illustrate how leverage affects a firm’s return on equity. Higher multiplier ratios tend to deliver higher returns on equity according to the DuPont analysis. For our illustrative scenario, we will calculate the https://personal-accounting.org/crucial-accounting-tips-for-small-start-up/ of a company with the following balance sheet data.

  • In some cases, a low equity multiplier could actually indicate that the company cannot find willing lenders; or it could also signal that a company’s growth prospects are low.
  • HP finances only 6.4% of its assets from stockholder equity and utilizes debt to finance the remaining 93.6%.
  • Apple is thus more susceptible to changing economic conditions or evolving industry standards than a utility or a traditional telecommunications firm.
  • It can be found from the total value of a company’s equity divided by the total value of shareholders’ equity.
  • Like other financial leverage ratios, the equity multiplier can show the amount of risk that a company poses to creditors.

The company’s EM ratio can also be compared to industry peers, the industry average, or even a specific market segment. ABC Company is more leveraged than XYZ Company, and therefore has a higher level of risk. This is because a greater portion of ABC Company’s financing comes from debt, which must be repaid with interest. If ABC Company is unable to generate enough revenue to cover its interest payments, it may default on its debt obligations. A high equity multiplier is generally seen as riskier because it means the company has more debt.


Equally important to consider is the size of the company and its stage in the growth cycle. Larger, well-established corporations often have more substantial equity bases built up over time, reducing their need for debt to finance their ongoing operations or expansion plans. In contrast, smaller, high-growth companies may decide to leverage debt to fund rapid expansion, resulting in higher equity multipliers. The formula for calculating the equity multiplier consists of dividing a company’s total asset balance by its total shareholders’ equity.

equity multiplier

If so, the entity is at risk of having its credit cut off by suppliers, which could trigger a rapid decline in its liquidity. Third, if a business is highly profitable, it can fund most of its assets with on-hand funds, and so has no need for debt funding. This concept only applies if excess funds are not being distributed to shareholders in the Accounting For Startups The Entrepreneur’s Guide form of dividends or stock repurchases. HP finances only 6.4% of its assets from stockholder equity and utilizes debt to finance the remaining 93.6%. As a result, HP has a very high leverage ratio and might have seemed over-leveraged in 2020. A high debt ratio arises when the debt accrued to a company is high considering its balance sheet.

Calculating the Debt Ratio Using the Equity Multiplier

First, if an organization uses accelerated depreciation, since doing so artificially reduces the amount of total assets used in the numerator. Second, if the ratio is high, the assumption Specialized Tax Services STS accounting method: PwC is that a large amount of debt is being used to fund payables. However, the organization may instead be delaying the payment of its accounts payable in order to fund the assets.

This is the case if the company finds it is cheaper to incur debt as a financing method compared to issuing stock. In the formula above, there is a direct relationship between ROE and the equity multiplier. Any increase in the value of the equity multiplier results in an increase in ROE.

Calculating a Company’s Equity Multiplier

The benefits here include potentially lower financial risk and a greater buffer against losses. If a company primarily finances its assets through equity, it isn’t as beholden to creditors, which can be especially beneficial during periods of financial instability or economic downturns. Company ABC has a higher equity multiplier than company DEF, indicating that ABC is using more debt to finance its asset purchases. A lower equity multiplier is preferred because it indicates the company is taking on less debt to buy assets. In this case, company DEF is preferred to company ABC because it does not owe as much money and therefore carries less risk.

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