USING FINANCIAL RATIOS




Some important points to keep in mind when using financial ratios are:

• Whereas all balance sheet numbers are end-of-period numbers, all income statement numbers relate to the entire period. For example, when calculating the ratio for Accounts Receivable Turnover, we use a numerator of Credit Sales, which is an entire-period number from the income statement, and a denominator of Accounts Receivable, which is an end-of-period number from the balance sheet. To make this an apples-to-apples ratio, the Accounts Receivable can be represented by an average of the beginning-of-year and end-of-year figures for Accounts Receivable. This average is closer to a mid-year estimate of Accounts Receivable and therefore is more comparable to the entire-period numerator, Credit Sales. Because using averages of the beginning-of-year and end-of-year figures for balance sheet numbers helps to make ratios more of an apples-to-apples comparison, averages should be used for all balance sheet numbers when calculating financial ratios.

• Financial ratios can be no more reliable than the data with which the ratios were calculated. The most reliable data is from audited financial statements, if the audit reports are clean and unqualified.

• Financial ratios cannot be fully considered without yardsticks of comparison. The simplest yardsticks are comparisons of an enterprise’s current financial ratios with those from previous periods. Companies often provide this type of information in their financial reporting. For example, Apple Computer Inc., recently disclosed the following financial quarterly information, in millions of dollars:

Topics You May Be Interested In
What Are Financial Statements? A Case Study Introduction To Analyzing Business Earnings
Points To Remember About Financial Statements The Process Of Identifying Nonrecurring Items
Using Financial Ratios Nonrecurring Items In The Income Statement
Combining Financial Ratios Nonrecurring Items In The Statement Of Cash Flows
The Z Score Nonrecurring Items In Other Selected Notes

USING FINANCIAL RATIOS

This table compares four successive quarters of information, which makes it possible to see the latest trends in such important items as Sales, and Gross Margin and Operating Income percentages. Other types of comparisons of financial ratios include:

1. Comparisons with competitors. For example, the financial ratios of Apple Computer could be compared with those of Compaq, Dell, or Gateway.

2. Comparisons with industry composites. Industry composite ratios can be found from a number of sources, such as:
a. The Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios, authored by Leo Troy and published annually by Prentice-Hall (Paramus, NJ). This publication uses Internal Revenue Service data for 4.6 million U.S. corporations, classified into 179 industries and divided into categories by firm size, and reporting 50 different financial ratios.
b. Risk Management Associates: Annual Statement Studies. This is a database compiled by bank loan officers from the financial statements of more than 150,000 commercial borrowers, representing more than 600 industries, classified by business size, and reporting 16 different financial ratios. It is available on the Internet at www.rmahq.org.
c. Financial ratios can also be obtained from other firms who specialize in financial information, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s.

Topics You May Be Interested In
What Are Financial Statements? A Case Study The Nature Of Nonrecurring Items
Financial Statements: Who Uses Them And Why The Process Of Identifying Nonrecurring Items
Using Financial Ratios Nonrecurring Items In The Statement Of Cash Flows
Combining Financial Ratios Nonrecurring Items In Managements Discussion And Analysis (md&a)
Introduction To Analyzing Business Earnings Nonrecurring Items In Other Selected Notes


Frequently Asked Questions

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Ans: We check the financial health of a company in much the same fashion by analyzing the financial statements. The vital signs are tested mostly by various financial ratios that are calculated from the financial statements. These vital signs can be classified into three main categories: view more..
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Ans: Financial statements have a standard format whether an enterprise is as small as Nutrivite or as large as a major corporation. For example, a recent set of financial statements for Microsoft Corporation can be summarized in millions of dollars as follows: view more..
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Ans: Here is a brief list of who uses financial statements and why. This list gives only a few examples and is by no means complete. 1. Existing equity investors and lenders, to monitor their investments and to evaluate the performance of management. 2. Prospective equity investors and lenders, to decide whether or not to invest. 3. Investment analysts, money managers, and stockbrokers, to make buy/sell/hold recommendations to their clients. view more..
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Ans: Some important points to keep in mind when using financial ratios are: • Whereas all balance sheet numbers are end-of-period numbers, all income statement numbers relate to the entire period. For example, when calculating the ratio for Accounts Receivable Turnover, we use a numerator of Credit Sales, which is an entire-period number from the income statement, and a denominator of Accounts Receivable, which is an end-ofperiod number from the balance sheet. view more..
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Ans: Up to this point we have considered financial ratios one at a time. However, there is a useful method for combining financial ratios known as Dupont1 analysis. To explain it, we first need to define some financial ratios, together with their abbreviations, as follows: view more..
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Ans: Financial ratios are useful not only to assess the past or present condition of an enterprise, but also to reliably predict its future solvency or bankruptcy. This type of information is of critical importance to present and potential creditors and investors. There are several different methods of analysis for obtaining this predictive information. view more..
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Ans: A special committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) concluded the following about earnings and the needs of those who use financial statements: Users want information about the portion of a company’s reported earnings that is stable or recurring and that provides a basis for estimating sustainable earnings. view more..
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Ans: Defining nonrecurring items is difficult. Writers often begin with phrases like “unusual” or “infrequent in occurrence.” Donald Keiso and Jerry Weygandt in their popular intermediate accounting text use the term irregular to describe what most statement users would consider nonrecurring items. view more..
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Ans: Careful analysis of past financial performance aimed at removing the effects of nonrecurring items is a more formidable task than one might suspect. This task would be fairly simple if (1) there was general agreement on just what constitutes a nonrecurring item and (2) if most nonrecurring items were prominently displayed on the face of the income statement. view more..
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Ans: An examination of the income statement, the first step in the search sequence, requires an understanding of the design and content of contemporary income statements. This knowledge will aid in the location and analysis of nonrecurring view more..
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Ans: After the income statement, the operating activities section of the statement of cash flows is an excellent secondary source to use in locating nonrecurring items (step 2 in the search sequence in Exhibit 2.3). The diagnostic value of this section of the statement of cash flows results from two factors. First, gains and losses on the sale of investments and fixed assets must be removed from net income in arriving at cash flow from operating activities. Second, noncash items of revenue or gain and expense or loss must also be removed from net income. view more..
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Ans: The carrying values of inventories maintained under the LIFO method are sometimes significantly understated in relationship to their replacement cost. For public companies, the difference between the LIFO carrying value and replacement cost (frequently approximated by FIFO) is a required disclosure under SEC regulations. An example of a substantial difference between LIFO and current replacement value is found in a summary of the inventory disclosures of Handy and Harman Inc. in Exhibit 2.17. view more..
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Ans: Income tax notes are among the more challenging of the disclosures found in annual reports. They can, however, be a rich source of information on nonrecurring items. Fortunately, our emphasis on the persistence of earnings requires a focus on a single key schedule found in the standard income tax note. The goal is simply to identify nonrecurring tax increases and decreases in this schedule. view more..
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Ans: An “other income (expense), net,” or equivalent line item is commonly found in both the single- and multistep income statement. In the case of the multistep format, the composition of other income and expenses is sometimes detailed on the face of the income statement. In both the multi- and single-step formats, the most typical presentation is a single line item with a supporting note. Even though a note detailing the contents of other income and expense may exist, companies typically do not specify its location. Other income and expense notes tend to be listed close to the end of the notes to the financial statements view more..
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Ans: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) is an annual and a quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirement. Provisions of this regulation have a direct bearing on the goal of locating nonrecurring items. As part of the MD&A, the SEC requires registrants to: view more..
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Ans: Typically, most material nonrecurring items will have been located by proceeding through the first six steps of the search sequence in Exhibit 2.3. However, some additional nonrecurring items may be located in other notes. Nonrecurring items can surface in virtually any note to the financial statements. We will now discuss three selected notes that frequently contain other nonrecurring items: notes on foreign exchange, restructuring, and quarterly and segment financial data. Recall that inventory, income tax, and other income and expense notes have already been discussed in steps 3 to 5. view more..
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Ans: The last section in the AK Steel Holdings income statement in Exhibit 2.9 is devoted to the reporting of other comprehensive income. This is a relatively new feature of the income statement and was introduced with the issuance by the FASB of SFAS No. 130, Reporting Comprehensive Income.44 The goal of the standard is to expand the concept of income to included selected items of nonrecurring revenue, gain, expense and loss. Under the new standard, traditional net income is combined with a new component, “other comprehensive income,” to produce a new bottom line, “comprehensive income.” view more..
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Ans: The work to this point has laid out important background but is not complete. Still required is a device to assist in summarizing information discovered on nonrecurring items so that new measures of sustainable earnings can be developed. We devote the balance of this chapter to introducing a worksheet specially designed to summarize nonrecurring items and illustrating its development and interpretation in a case study. view more..




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