Solvency Ratio

A measure of a company’s long-term financial performance as determined by its debt repayments

What is Solvency Ratio?

Solvency ratio is a performance metric that helps us examine a company’s financial health. In particular, it enables us to determine whether the company can cater to its financial obligations in the long term.

 

Solvency Ratio

 

The metric is very useful to lenders, potential investors, suppliers, and any other entity that would like to do business with a particular company. It usually compares the entity’s profitability with its obligations to determine whether it is financially sound. In that regard, a higher or stronger solvency ratio is preferred, as it is proof of financial strength. On the other hand, a low ratio shows potential financial hurdles in the future.

 

Summary

  • The solvency ratio helps us assess a company’s long-term financial performance as determined by its debt repayments.
  • To calculate the ratio, divide a company’s net income – after subtracting its tax obligations – by the sum of its liabilities (short-term and long-term).
  • A high solvency ratio shows that a company can remain financially stable long-term.

 

How to Calculate the Solvency Ratio

As explained later, there are a couple of other ways to determine a company’s solvency, but the main formula for calculating the solvency ratio is as follows:

 

Solvency Ratio = (Net Income + Depreciation) / All Liabilities (Short-term + Long-term Liabilities)

 

If you examine keenly, you will notice that the numerator comprises the entity’s current cash flow, while the denominator is made up of its liabilities. Thus, it is safe to conclude that the solvency ratio determines whether a company’s cash flow is adequate to pay its total liabilities.

 

Practical Example

Let’s look at the case of SaleSmarts Co.:

SaleSmarts (USD in millions)
Net Income45,000
Depreciation15,000
Short-term Liabilities83,000
Long-term Liabilities160,000

 

Solvency Ratio = (45,000 + 15,000) / (83,000 + 160,000)

Solvency Ratio = 0.246 * 100 = 24.6%

 

Important to note is that a company is considered financially strong if it achieves a solvency ratio exceeding 20%. So, from our example above, it is clear that if SalesSmarts keeps up with the trend each year, it can repay all its debts within four years (100% / 24.6% = Approximately four years).

 

Limitation of the Solvency Ratio

Although the solvency ratio is a useful measure, there is one area where it falls short. It does not determine a company’s eligibility to acquire new funding sources in the long term, such as funds from stock or bonds. For such a reason, it should be used alongside other types of analysis to provide a comprehensive overview of a business’ solvency.

 

Other Solvency Ratios

Financial metrics enable us to draw meaningful comparisons regarding an organization’s long-term debt as it relates to its equity and assets. With such metrics, interested parties can assess the stability of the company’s capital structure. Here a few more ratios used to evaluate an organization’s capability to repay debts in the future.

 

1. Debt-to-Equity (D/E) Ratio

Often abbreviated as D/E, the debt-to-equity ratio establishes a company’s total debts relative to its equity. To calculate the ratio, first, get the sum of its debts. Divide the outcome by the company’s total equity.

 

2. Interest Coverage Ratio

With the interest coverage ratio, we can determine the number of times that a company’s revenue can be used to cater to the interest accrued from debts. To calculate the figure, divide the company’s revenue (before subtracting any interests and taxes) by its interest payments.

The higher the value, the more solvent the company. In other words, it means the day-to-day operations are yielding enough revenue to cater for the interest payments.

 

3. Debt-to-Capital Ratio

As implied in the name, the debt-to-capital ratio determines the proportion of a business’ working capital that is financed using debt. For example, if a company’s debt-to-capital ratio is 0.45, it means 45% of its capital comes from debt. In such a case, a lower ratio is preferred, as it implies that the company can pay for capital without relying so much on debt.

 

Wrap Up

Before an individual or organization invests or lends money to a company, they need to be sure that the entity in question can remain solvent over time. Thus, interested stakeholders usually examine the solvency ratio, to assess a company’s capacity to pay off its debts in the long term.

A high solvency ratio is an indication of stability, while a low ratio signals financial weakness. To get a clear picture of the company’s liquidity and solvency, potential investors use the metric alongside others, such as the debt-to-equity ratio, the debt-to-capital ratio, and more.

 

More Resources

CFI is the official provider of the global Certified Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

  • Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Capital Structure
  • Financial Ratios
  • Insolvency

Financial Analyst Training

Get world-class financial training with CFI’s online certified financial analyst training program!

Gain the confidence you need to move up the ladder in a high powered corporate finance career path.

 

Learn financial modeling and valuation in Excel the easy way, with step-by-step training.