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Gross Leverage Ratio


The Gross Leverage Ratio is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s financial risk by determining how much of the company’s operation is financed by debt. It’s calculated by dividing total debt (both short-term and long-term) by total assets. A higher ratio indicates more financial risk and reliance on borrowed money.


Gross Leverage Ratio: /grōs ˈlev(ə)rij rāSHēō/

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Gross Leverage Ratio indicates the overall financial leverage of a company. It measures the proportion of the company’s total assets that are financed by debt, including both short-term and long-term obligations. This is a critical indication of the company’s financial risk and debt burden.</li> <li>A high Gross Leverage Ratio can be a concern as it may indicate that the company is heavily reliant on debt for its operations. This can leave the company vulnerable to cash flow issues, and its profit may be heavily dented by interest payments. It may also reflect poorly on the company’s creditworthiness, affecting its ability to raise additional funds.</li> <li>However, a low Gross Leverage Ratio may not necessarily indicate that a company is in a strong financial position. It may also imply that the firm is not maximizing its use of cheaper, tax-deductible debt to finance its activities. Hence, a moderate Gross Leverage Ratio is often preferred, allowing a company to reap the benefits of debt financing while avoiding its dangers.</li></ol>


The Gross Leverage Ratio is a crucial term in business/finance as it helps determine a company’s financial health by measuring its total debt in relation to its total assets. A high Gross Leverage Ratio indicates that a business may be overly reliant on borrowing, which poses a significant risk, especially in times of financial or operational turbulence. This ratio serves as a vital tool for shareholders, lenders, and investors, offering insights into a company’s overall risk profile, its ability to meet financial obligations, and the likelihood of it achieving long-term financial stability. Hence, understanding the Gross Leverage Ratio is essential to making informed decisions about business operations, investments, and creditworthiness.


The Gross Leverage Ratio serves as an important financial measurement tool primarily utilized by various entities, especially lending institutions, like banks, and financial analysts to evaluate a company’s financial health. This ratio measures the level of a corporation’s financial leverage by comparing its total debts to its total assets. It allows these institutions to understand to what extent a company relies on borrowed funds to finance its assets. By extension, it indicates the level of risk associated with the company, spotlighting potential issues tied to debt repayment.The Gross Leverage Ratio further provides a comprehensive picture of a company’s overall financial stability, as it does not limit its perspective to interest-bearing borrowing only, but considers all forms of liabilities. It is typically used in risk assessment, investment evaluation, and credit determination processes. Investors and creditors utilize this ratio to ascertain a company’s ability to meet financial obligations and to predict the sustainability of the company’s debt structure. Overall, this ratio serves to guide decisions of investing, lending, and risk management in the context of a company’s financial scenario.


1. Example 1: A manufacturing company, ABC Industries, has a total debt of $50 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $10 million. The gross leverage ratio of ABC Industries is, therefore, 5:1 ($50 million / $10 million).2. Example 2: XYZ Corporation, a large tech company, has a total debt of $100 million and an EBITDA of $25 million. The gross leverage ratio for XYZ Corporation is thus 4:1 ($100 million / $25 million), indicating that for every dollar earned, the company has $4 in debt. 3. Example 3: A retail brand, Giant Retailers, has an EBITDA of $15 million with a total debt of $45 million. Their gross leverage ratio stands at 3:1 ($45 million / $15 million), suggesting that they have three times as much debt as their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Gross Leverage Ratio?

The Gross Leverage Ratio is a financial concept that measures a company’s total debt relative to its total assets. This ratio gives insights into a company’s financial risk and ability to meet its financial obligations.

How is the Gross Leverage Ratio calculated?

The Gross Leverage Ratio is calculated by dividing total debt by total assets. Total debt includes short-term and long-term debts, while total assets include everything owned by the company, both tangible and intangible.

What does a high Gross Leverage Ratio mean?

A high Gross Leverage Ratio indicates a high level of debt in relation to a company’s assets, which may mean a higher level of financial risk. It suggests that a company may struggle to make its debt payments if its income decreases.

What does a low Gross Leverage Ratio mean?

A low Gross Leverage Ratio indicates a low level of debt in relation to a company’s assets. This may indicate a lower level of financial risk and shows that the company has a stronger financial position to cover its debt obligations.

Is a high Gross Leverage Ratio necessarily bad?

Not necessarily. A high ratio can show a company is investing in its future growth. However, it can also indicate higher financial risk if not managed properly. It depends on the context and the specific industry.

How frequently should a company’s Gross Leverage Ratio be measured?

The frequency of measuring a company’s Gross Leverage Ratio may depend on the company’s industry, financial plan and strategy. However, it’s most commonly reviewed and analyzed on a quarterly basis, along with other financial health indicators.

Can the Gross Leverage Ratio help investors?

Yes, it can assist investors in assessing the risk of a company’s financial strategy. A stable or decreasing Gross Leverage Ratio over time can indicate a reducing debt burden and can be a positive sign for investors.

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