GEARING RATIO Definition

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GEARING RATIO measures the percentage of capital employed that is financed by debt and long term financing. The higher the gearing, the higher the dependence on borrowing and long term financing. Whereas, the lower the gearing ratio, the higher the dependence on equity financing. Traditionally, the higher the level of gearing, the higher the level of financial risk due to the increased volatility of profits. Financial manager face a difficult dilemma. Most businesses require long term debt in order to finance growth, as equity financing is rarely sufficient, on the other hand, the introduction of debt and gearing increases financial risk. A high gearing ratio is positive; a large amount of debt will give higher return on capital employed but the company dependent on equity financing alone is unable to sustain growth. Gearing can be quite high for small businesses trying to become established, but in general they should not be higher than 50%. Shareholders benefit from gearing to the extent that return on the borrowed money exceeds the interest cost so that the market values of their shares rise.  Formula: Long Term Debt / Shareholders Equity.

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ALTMAN Z-SCORE reliably predicts whether or not a company is likely to enter into bankruptcy within one or two years: If the Z-Score is 3.0 or above - bankruptcy is not likely. If the Z-Score is 1.8 or less - bankruptcy is likely.A Z-Score between 1.8 and 3.0 is the gray area, i.e., a high degree of caution should be used. Probabilities of bankruptcy within the above ranges are 95% for one year and 70% within two years. A Z-Score between the two is the gray area. Obviously a higher Z-Score is desirable. It is best to assess each individual companys Z-Score against that of the industry. In low margin industries it is possible for Z-Scores to fall below the above. In such cases a trend comparison to the industry over consecutive time periods may be a better indicator. It should be remembered that a Z-Score is only as valid as the data from which it was derived i.e. if a company has altered or falsified their financial records/books, a Z-Score derived from those "cooked books" is of lesser use.

STRATEGY MAP is the visual representation of an organization’s strategy and the processes and systems necessary to implement that strategy. A strategy map will show employees how their jobs are linked to the organization’s overall objectives.

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