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Understanding Financial Ratios – How To Use Them?

In the tough world of finance, where numbers govern the dynamics of economies, financial ratios emerge as pivotal indicators. These calculations are not simple abstractions; they clarify the economic landscape, offering insights into the effectiveness of current measures. 

Understanding financial ratios is paramount for traders and investors, as they provide valuable signs about the profitability of projects and the potential success of existing strategies.

Financial ratios serve as efficient tools, offering quick glimpses into financial projections without delving into complicated calculations. With a single glance, investors can ascertain the profitability of their investments and project anticipated returns.

Therefore, grasping the significance of major financial ratios is essential for crossing the complex world of finance.

Essential Financial Ratios

Acknowledging the dynamic nature of financial ratios and continually adapting to the ever-evolving business landscape is imperative. Ambitious financial analysts must stay informed and attentive to news and updates. 

There are many ratios that can be presented, taking hours and pages for calculations. However, several core ratios have proved prominent, remaining critically relevant. Let’s explore some of the paramount ones:

EPS – Earnings Per Share Ratio

Earnings per share (EPS) stands as a pivotal ratio in stock exchange dealings. Companies often rely on this figure for planning public offerings, while investors use it to guide their investment decisions. 

EPS essentially measures the profitability of a company’s stock and forecasts potential earnings for shareholders. Publicly traded corporations aim to boost their EPS to attract more investors, as a higher EPS signifies increased profits for shareholders.

EPS = (company’s net income – dividends to preferred shareholders) / average outstanding shares.

WCR – Working Capital Ratio

Maintaining a balance between assets and liabilities is crucial for corporations to ensure profitability. The working capital ratio, comparing current assets to current liabilities, serves as an indicator of how well a company’s assets are performing against its weaknesses.

Working Capital Ratio = current assets / current liabilities.

A ratio below 1 indicates an inefficient monetary policy and potential liquidity problems, while a ratio between 1.5 and 2 suggests a solid financial position. However, a ratio exceeding two may signal ineffective asset management.

ROE – Return on Equity

The return on equity ratio holds particular appeal for investors, providing insights into the growth of their invested capital. Investors often seek this ratio to understand how efficiently a business manages its finances and grows shareholder equity.

ROE = Net Income / Shareholder Equity.


Using financial ratios in practice is indispensable for gaining insights into a company’s financial standing and effectively monitoring investments. These ratios, derived from diverse measures, produce comprehensive insights, guiding a company’s monetary strategy. 

As integral components of financial statements and analyses, understanding how these ratios operate is vital for uncovering underlying financial gaps or opportunities.

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