DEBT TO EQUITY measures the risk of the firms capital structure in terms of amounts of capital contributed by creditors and that contributed by owners. It expresses the protection provided by owners for the creditors. In addition, low Debt/Equity ratio implies ability to borrow. While using debt implies risk (required interest payments must be paid), it also introduces the potential for increased benefits to the firms owners. When debt is used successfully (operating earnings exceeding interest charges) the returns to shareholders are magnified through financial leverage. Depending on the industry, different ratios are acceptable. The company should be compared to the industry, but, generally, a 3:1 ratio is a general benchmark. Should a company have debt-to-equity ratio that exceeds this number; it will be a major impediment to obtaining additional financing. If the ratio is suspect and you find the companys working capital, and current / quick ratios drastically low, this is a sign of serious financial weakness. Formula: Total Liabilities / Stockholders Equity
MARKET MAKERS is one of the major differences between The NASDAQ Stock Market and other major markets in the U.S. is NASDAQ's structure of competing Market Makers. Market Makers are NASDAQ member firms that use their own capital, research, retail and/or systems resources to represent a stock and compete with each other to buy and sell the stocks they represent. Each Market Maker competes for customer order flow by displaying buy and sell quotations for a guaranteed number of shares. Once an order is received, the Market Maker will immediately purchase for or sell from its own inventory, or seek the other side of the trade until it is executed, often in a matter of seconds.
COMMITTED COSTS are costs, usually fixed costs, which the management of an organization has a long-term responsibility to pay. Examples include rent on a long-term lease and depreciation on an asset with an extended life.
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