Financial leverage definition

financial leverage example

Financial leverage is unfavourable when operating profits are decreasing be­cause then the EPS will decrease by a higher proportion. However when there is preference dividend as well, then it is better to use the first formula. This is because while interest expenses are tax deductible, preference dividend is not tax deductible in nature.

The financial leverage index can show you how efficiently a company is utilizing its debts. It can also show you if a particular brand is profitable to the company.

Features of Financial Leverage

Total risk of a company is captured by the ‘Combined leverage’ of the company. Hence, Combined Leverage is a measure of total risk of a company.

The financial leverage formula is equal to the total of company debt divided by the total shareholders’ equity. If the shareholder equity is greater than the company’s debt, the likelihood of the company’s secure financial footing is increased. If debt exceeds shareholder equity, the company may not be able to repay all of its debts. Operating leverage is calculated the same way except that it does not factor in borrowed money. This formula is used to determine how much return will be ideal for a shareholder’s investment. The formula makes use of business financial data like net worth, net income, total assets, total equity, gross income, and dividends. Financial leverage index is also the scale that is used to assess the value of a single share that is finding out how much profit is generated from debts which are profits relative to equity.

Learning Outcomes

Financial leverage measures change in earning before tax on account of change in operating profits (i.e., EBIT). Both these leverages are closely concerned with the firm’s capability of meeting its fixed costs . In case both the leverages are combined, the result will depict the effect of change in sales level on the earning before tax . Operating leverage refers to the fact that a lower ratio of variable cost per unit to price per unit causes profit to vary more with a change in the level of output than it would if this ratio was higher. Financial leverage refers to the fact that a higher ratio of debt to equity causes profitability to vary more when earnings on assets changes than it would if this ratio was lower. Obviously, the profits of a business with a high degree of both kinds of leverage vary more, everything else remaining the same, than do those of businesses with less operating and financial leverage.

financial leverage example

But you also have to pay back the investor with an interest of 7%. If the capital was 100 dollars that means you still have 13 dollars after paying interest. But you put in only 30 dollars which means 43.3% financial leverage interest on your 30 dollars. So this means that the leverage helped you increase about 23% return on shareholder’s equity. These are some of the methods available for utilizing financial leverage.

Financial leverage

The simplified version of equation of the equation reveals that the change in owners’ rate of return resulting from a change in the level of output is not affected by interest expense. Block and Hirt’s method produces the same results when operating leverage is computed at the 10,000 unit level of output. Given the high financial leverage and the group’s having initially paid above-market prices, many of their loans were underwater.

  • A high financial leverage means high financial costs and high financial risk.
  • Operating LeverageOperating Leverage is an accounting metric that helps the analyst in analyzing how a company’s operations are related to the company’s revenues.
  • It should be noted that equity shareholders are entitled to the remainder of the operating profits of the firm after meeting all the prior obligations.
  • Operating leverage is important for long term profit planning and budgeting as one can easily compute the effect of a change in sales revenue on operating profit.
  • The operating leverage formula measures the proportion of fixed costs per unit of variable or total cost.
  • Such a variability is the result of internal and external environment, in which the firm has to operate.

There is no definitive answer when it comes to what is considered a good financial leverage index. The increasing index indicates that additional debt has been beneficial to the company. But if it is going downwards, it is an indicator that loans have not been very beneficial to the company and one needs to take a closer look at the company finances and scrutinize.

How to Calculate Financial Leverage

When looking at a company’s financial leverage index, keep this point in mind. If the financial leverage index is rising, this means that the debts acquired by the company are what is used to produce more profit and not from its accounts. This indicates that the ratio of the equity base is smaller than the asset base which means the business is making an excellent job of leveraging returns to its shareholders and will be a great investment. In the example above, you compared the return on equity to the return on assets and the result showed that the company had a return on equity that was 267 times higher than the return on assets. Depending on the size of the company, businesses will sometimes take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in order to leverage it and purchase assets. While that might seem like risky business, it’s the name of the game for competing corporations looking to outgrow each other.