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Gearing Ratio


The Gearing Ratio is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s financial leverage, reflecting the proportion of its capital structure made up of debt. It is calculated by dividing the company’s total debt by its equity, or by dividing its total debt by the sum of its total debt and equity. A higher gearing ratio indicates higher financial risk, as the company relies more heavily on borrowed money to finance its operations.


The phonetics of the keyword “Gearing Ratio” can be represented as: /ˈɡɪərɪŋ ˈreɪʃioʊ/Here’s a breakdown of the phonetic sounds:- Gearing: /ˈɡɪərɪŋ/- Ratio: /ˈreɪʃioʊ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Gearing Ratio refers to a financial metric used to measure a company’s financial leverage, i.e., the extent to which the company uses borrowed funds to finance its assets. It helps determine the financial risk a company may face when repaying its debts.
  2. There are several types of Gearing Ratios, including Debt Ratio, Equity Ratio, and Debt to Equity Ratio. These ratios provide insights into the company’s capital structure and indicate the proportion of equity and debt being used to finance operations and growth.
  3. Investors and analysts pay close attention to Gearing Ratios to gauge a company’s financial health and long-term sustainability. Higher gearing ratios indicate higher financial risk, whereas lower gearing ratios indicate a more conservative and stable financial position.


The Gearing Ratio is an essential financial metric in business as it measures the proportion of a company’s borrowed funds in relation to its equity, thus providing valuable insights into a company’s financial structure, stability, and risk levels. By analyzing the Gearing Ratio, investors, lenders, and other stakeholders can evaluate a firm’s ability to fulfill its debt obligations and assess its reliance on borrowed capital. Furthermore, a manageable level of gearing typically indicates a stronger financial position, whereas a high ratio suggests that a company may face difficulties in meeting its debt commitments or raising more capital. Consequently, understanding and monitoring the Gearing Ratio is crucial for informed decision-making in matters of investing, lending, and overall business management.


The Gearing Ratio’s primary purpose is to gauge the financial stability of a company and its ability to meet its long-term obligations. By assessing the proportion of borrowed funds to equity, it offers a comprehensive analysis of a business’s capital structure. This metric is particularly useful for investors, creditors, and other stakeholders, as it provides crucial information on how well a company can manage its liabilities and how reliant it is on external sources of financing. A high gearing ratio often indicates a higher level of financial risk, while a low ratio suggests greater financial flexibility. Understanding the Gearing Ratio plays a significant role in making sound investment decisions and evaluating a company’s overall financial health. For instance, when comparing multiple investment opportunities, an investor may favor a business with a lower gearing ratio, as it represents a lower financial risk. Moreover, the ratio assists lenders in determining the creditworthiness of a prospective borrower since a higher ratio may indicate that a company is overburdened with debt and might struggle to pay it off. Furthermore, the Gearing Ratio allows for the assessment of a company’s ability to navigate adverse market conditions and how effectively it can manage any unforeseen economic challenges.


The gearing ratio is a measure of a company’s financial leverage, indicating the extent to which the company’s activities are funded by its own equity capital versus debt. Here are three real-world examples related to the gearing ratio in business and finance: 1. Example 1: Tesla, Inc. In 2020, Tesla’s total debt was approximately $13.1 billion. Their total equity for the same year was about $22.5 billion. To calculate Tesla’s gearing ratio, we can use the formula: Gearing Ratio = (Total Debt / Total Equity) x 100. Gearing Ratio = (13.1 / 22.5) x 100 = 58.22%Tesla’s gearing ratio in 2020 was 58.22%, indicating that around 58% of its capital was funded by debt, while the rest was funded by equity. 2. Example 2: Macy’s, Inc. As of February 2021, Macy’s reported total debt of about $7.4 billion and total equity of approximately $2.45 billion. Using the gearing ratio formula: Gearing Ratio = (7.4 / 2.45) x 100 = 302.04%Macy’s gearing ratio in 2021 was 302.04%, indicating that it was primarily funded by debt, with debt financing making up more than three times its equity financing.3. Example 3: Microsoft Corporation. As of June 2020, Microsoft’s total debt was about $59.5 billion, while its total equity was approximately $118.3 billion. Using the gearing ratio formula: Gearing Ratio = (59.5 / 118.3) x 100 = 50.29%Microsoft’s gearing ratio in 2020 was 50.29%, indicating a balanced mix of debt and equity financing as it shows that half its capital came from debt, and the other half from equity.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Gearing Ratio?
Gearing Ratio is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s financial leverage by comparing its debt to its equity or total capital. It indicates the proportion of a company’s funding that comes from debt and equity and helps determine a company’s financial stability and solvency.
How is Gearing Ratio calculated?
Gearing Ratio can be calculated using the following formula:Gearing Ratio = (Total Debt / Total Capital) x 100%Where Total Debt includes long-term and short-term debt, and Total Capital equals Total Debt plus Shareholder’s Equity.
Why is Gearing Ratio important in finance and business?
Gearing Ratio is important for several reasons. It helps investors and analysts:1. Assess a company’s financial risk and stability.2. Understand the capital structure of a company.3. Compare the financial leverage of different companies in the same industry.4. Evaluate a company’s ability to meet its debt obligations.5. Estimate the potential return on equity for shareholders.
What is considered a high Gearing Ratio?
A high Gearing Ratio typically indicates a company has a higher proportion of debt in its capital structure compared to equity. However, there’s no specific threshold that defines a high Gearing Ratio, as it varies depending on the industry and the company’s size. Generally, a Gearing Ratio above 50% is considered high, implying that a company may have more financial risk.
What is considered a low Gearing Ratio?
A low Gearing Ratio indicates that a company has a lower proportion of debt in its capital structure and relies more on equity for funding. A Gearing Ratio below 25% is generally considered low, suggesting that a company has a lower financial risk and may have a better ability to meet its debt obligations.
Can a company’s Gearing Ratio change over time?
Yes, a company’s Gearing Ratio can change over time due to various factors, including changes in the company’s debt levels, variations in equity financing, and fluctuations in the company’s overall market value. Regularly monitoring a company’s Gearing Ratio can provide insights into its financial health and risk profile over time.
Is a high Gearing Ratio always negative for a business?
Not necessarily; a high Gearing Ratio signifies higher financial risk, but it doesn’t always mean that a company is in a bad position. Debt can be used as leverage to achieve company growth, so if the company can manage its debt efficiently and generate higher returns than the cost of debt, a higher Gearing Ratio may have a positive impact on the company’s performance. However, during economic downturns or challenging market conditions, a high Gearing Ratio can expose a company to greater financial risk.

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