Spread the love

A liquidity ratio is a financial statistic that measures a company’s capacity to fulfill its short-term loan commitments. The indicator determines whether a company’s current, or liquid, assets can pay its current liabilities.

The three most widely utilized liquidity ratios are the current ratio, quick ratio, and cash ratio. Each liquidity ratio has the current liabilities amount in the denominator and the liquid assets amount in the numerator.

Given the structure of the ratio, with assets on top and liabilities on the bottom, ratios above 1.0 are sought after. A ratio of 1 means that a company can exactly pay off all its current liabilities with its current assets. A ratio of less than 1 (e.g., 0.75) would imply that a company is not able to satisfy its current liabilities.

A ratio greater than 1 (e.g., 2.0) would imply that a company is able to satisfy its current bills. In fact, a ratio of 2.0 means that a company can cover its current liabilities two times over. A ratio of 3.0 would mean they could cover their current liabilities three times over, and so forth.

When it comes to measuring a company’s financial health, the quick ratio is one of the most crucial factors to consider. This liquidity ratio assesses a company’s capacity to satisfy its short-term obligations using its most liquid assets. Simply, it indicates if a corporation has enough cash to cover its expenses.

The quick ratio is an important indicator used by investors, creditors, and analysts to determine a company’s financial stability and capacity to satisfy short-term obligations. It is especially valuable for investors considering investing in a company’s stocks, bonds, or other assets, as it provides information on the company’s potential to earn cash.

Here are some important points to consider when it comes to the importance of the quick ratio in financial analysis:

1. The quick ratio is a more conservative measure of liquidity than the current ratio, as it only takes into account the company’s most liquid assets, such as cash and marketable securities. This makes it a more accurate measure of a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations.

2. A quick ratio of 1:1 is generally considered to be a good indicator of a company’s liquidity. This means that the company has enough liquid assets to cover its current liabilities. However, in some industries, such as retail, a quick ratio of 2:1 may be more appropriate, as these companies typically have higher inventory turnover rates.

3. A low quick ratio can be a warning sign that a company may have difficulty meeting its short-term obligations. This could be due to a variety of factors, such as poor cash management, low sales, or high levels of debt. For example, if a company has a quick ratio of 0.5:1, it means that it has only 50 cents of liquid assets for every dollar of current liabilities.

4. It is important to compare a company’s quick ratio to that of other companies in the same industry, as different industries have different liquidity requirements. For example, a software company may have a higher quick ratio than a construction company, as the former typically has lower inventory and accounts receivable balances.

The quick ratio is an essential metric for financial analysis, as it provides insight into a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations. By understanding the importance of the quick ratio, investors, creditors, and analysts can make more informed decisions about whether to invest in a company’s securities or extend credit to the company.

How to Assess a Company’s Financial Health?

When evaluating a stock, investors are always searching for that one golden key measurement that can be obtained by looking at a company’s financial statements. But finding a company that ticks off every box is simply not that easy.

There are a number of financial ratios that can be reviewed to gauge a company’s overall financial health and to judge the likelihood that the company will continue as a viable business. Standalone numbers such as total debt or net profit are less meaningful than financial ratios that connect and compare the various numbers on a company’s balance sheet or income statement. The general trend of financial ratios, whether they are improving over time, is also an important consideration.

To accurately evaluate the financial health and long-term sustainability of a company, several financial metrics must be considered in tandem. The four main areas of financial health that should be examined are liquidity, solvency, profitability, and operating efficiency. However, of the four, perhaps the best measurement of a company’s health is the level of its profitability.


Liquidity is a key factor in assessing a company’s basic financial health. Liquidity is the amount of cash and easily-convertible-to-cash assets a company owns to manage its short-term debt obligations. Before a company can prosper in the long term, it must first be able to survive in the short term.

The two most common metrics used to measure liquidity are the current ratio and the quick ratio.

Read Also: Market for Marketable Securities: Exploring High-liquidity Investment Options

Of these two, the quick ratio, also known as the acid test, is the conservative measure. This is because it excludes inventory from assets and also excludes the current part of long-term debt from liabilities. Thus, it provides a more realistic or practical indication of a company’s ability to manage short-term obligations with cash and assets on hand. A quick ratio lower than 1.0 is often a warning sign, as it indicates current liabilities exceed current assets.


Related to liquidity is the concept of solvency—a company’s ability to meet its debt obligations on an ongoing basis, not just over the short term. Solvency ratios calculate a company’s long-term debt in relation to its assets or equity.

The debt-to-equity (D/E) ratio is generally a solid indicator of a company’s long-term sustainability because it provides a measurement of debt against stockholders’ equity, and is, therefore, also a measure of investor interest and confidence in a company. A lower D/E ratio means more of a company’s operations are being financed by shareholders rather than by creditors. This is a plus for a company since shareholders do not charge interest on the financing they provide.

D/E ratios vary widely between industries. However, regardless of the specific nature of a business, a downward trend over time in the D/E ratio is a good indicator a company is on increasingly solid financial ground.

Operating Efficiency

A company’s operating efficiency is key to its financial success. Operating margin is one of the best indicators of efficiency. This metric considers a company’s basic operational profit margin after deducting the variable costs of producing and marketing the company’s products or services. Crucially, it indicates how well the company’s management is able to control costs.

Good management is essential to a company’s long-term sustainability. Good management can overcome an array of temporary problems, while bad management can lead to the collapse of even the most promising business.


While liquidity, basic solvency, and operating efficiency are all important factors to consider in evaluating a company, the bottom line remains a company’s bottom line: its net profitability. Companies can survive for years without being profitable, operating on the goodwill of creditors and investors. But to survive in the long run, a company must eventually attain and maintain profitability.

A good metric for evaluating profitability is net margin, the ratio of net profits to total revenues. It is crucial to consider the net margin ratio because a simple dollar figure of profit is inadequate to assess the company’s financial health. A company might show a net profit figure of several hundred million dollars, but if that dollar figure represents a net margin of only 1% or less, then even the slightest increase in operating costs or marketplace competition could plunge the company into the red.

A larger net margin, especially compared to industry peers, means a greater margin of financial safety, and also indicates a company is in a better financial position to commit capital to growth and expansion. No single metric can identify the overall financial and operational health of a company. It’s also hard to compare publicly-traded companies and private companies.

Liquidity will tell you about a firm’s ability to ride out short-term rough patches and solvency tells you about how readily it can cover longer-term debt and obligations. Efficiency and profitability, meanwhile, say something about its ability to convert inputs into cash flows and net income.

All of these factors must be considered to get a complete and holistic view of a company’s stability.

How do You Assess Financial Ratios?

Financial ratios are calculated using numerical numbers extracted from financial documents to provide useful information about a company. The figures on a company’s financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement) are used to undertake quantitative analysis to measure liquidity, leverage, growth, margins, profitability, rates of return, value, and other metrics.

Financial ratios are grouped into the following categories:

  • Liquidity ratios
  • Leverage ratios
  • Efficiency ratios
  • Profitability ratios
  • Market value ratios

Uses and Users of Financial Ratio Analysis

Analysis of financial ratios serves two main purposes:

1. Track company performance

Determining individual financial ratios per period and tracking the change in their values over time is done to spot trends that may be developing in a company. For example, an increasing debt-to-asset ratio may indicate that a company is overburdened with debt and may eventually be facing default risk.

2. Make comparative judgments regarding company performance

Comparing financial ratios with that of major competitors is done to identify whether a company is performing better or worse than the industry average. For example, comparing the return on assets between companies helps an analyst or investor to determine which company is making the most efficient use of its assets.

Users of financial ratios include parties external and internal to the company:

  • External users: Financial analysts, retail investors, creditors, competitors, tax authorities, regulatory authorities, and industry observers
  • Internal users: Management team, employees, and owners

Liquidity Ratios

Liquidity ratios are financial ratios that measure a company’s ability to repay both short- and long-term obligations. Common liquidity ratios include the following:

The current ratio measures a company’s ability to pay off short-term liabilities with current assets:

Current ratio = Current assets / Current liabilities

The acid-test ratio measures a company’s ability to pay off short-term liabilities with quick assets:

Acid-test ratio = Current assets – Inventories / Current liabilities

The cash ratio measures a company’s ability to pay off short-term liabilities with cash and cash equivalents:

Cash ratio = Cash and Cash equivalents / Current Liabilities

The operating cash flow ratio is a measure of the number of times a company can pay off current liabilities with the cash generated in a given period:

Operating cash flow ratio = Operating cash flow / Current liabilities

Leverage Financial Ratios

Leverage ratios measure the amount of capital that comes from debt. In other words, leverage financial ratios are used to evaluate a company’s debt levels. Common leverage ratios include the following:

The debt ratio measures the relative amount of a company’s assets that are provided from debt:

Debt ratio = Total liabilities / Total assets

The debt to equity ratio calculates the weight of total debt and financial liabilities against shareholders’ equity:

Debt to equity ratio = Total liabilities / Shareholder’s equity

The interest coverage ratio shows how easily a company can pay its interest expenses:

Interest coverage ratio = Operating income / Interest expenses

The debt service coverage ratio reveals how easily a company can pay its debt obligations:

Debt service coverage ratio = Operating income / Total debt service

Efficiency Ratios

Efficiency ratios, also known as activity financial ratios, are used to measure how well a company is utilizing its assets and resources. Common efficiency ratios include:

The asset turnover ratio measures a company’s ability to generate sales from assets:

Asset turnover ratio = Net sales / Average total assets

The inventory turnover ratio measures how many times a company’s inventory is sold and replaced over a given period:

Inventory turnover ratio = Cost of goods sold / Average inventory

The accounts receivable turnover ratio measures how many times a company can turn receivables into cash over a given period:

Receivables turnover ratio = Net credit sales / Average accounts receivable

The days sales in inventory ratio measures the average number of days that a company holds on to inventory before selling it to customers:

Days sales in inventory ratio = 365 days / Inventory turnover ratio

Profitability Ratios

Profitability ratios measure a company’s ability to generate income relative to revenue, balance sheet assets, operating costs, and equity. Common profitability financial ratios include the following:

The gross margin ratio compares the gross profit of a company to its net sales to show how much profit a company makes after paying its cost of goods sold:

Gross margin ratio = Gross profit / Net sales

The operating margin ratio, sometimes known as the return on sales ratio, compares the operating income of a company to its net sales to determine operating efficiency:

Operating margin ratio = Operating income / Net sales

The return on assets ratio measures how efficiently a company is using its assets to generate profit:

Return on assets ratio = Net income / Total assets

The return on equity ratio measures how efficiently a company is using its equity to generate profit:

Return on equity ratio = Net income / Shareholder’s equity

Market Value Ratios

Market value ratios are used to evaluate the share price of a company’s stock. Common market value ratios include the following:

The book value per share ratio calculates the per-share value of a company based on the equity available to shareholders:

Book value per share ratio = (Shareholder’s equity – Preferred equity) / Total common shares outstanding

The dividend yield ratio measures the amount of dividends attributed to shareholders relative to the market value per share:

Dividend yield ratio = Dividend per share / Share price

The earnings per share ratio measures the amount of net income earned for each share outstanding:

Earnings per share ratio = Net earnings / Total shares outstanding

The price-earnings ratio compares a company’s share price to its earnings per share:

Price-earnings ratio = Share price / Earnings per share

Final Thoughts

Management uses the quick ratio as a tool to evaluate the company’s liquidity position and make decisions about future investments. A low quick ratio may indicate that the company needs to improve its cash flow management or reduce its expenses. On the other hand, a high quick ratio may mean that the company has excess cash that can be invested to generate more revenue.

To conclude, the quick ratio is a crucial metric in financial management, and understanding its significance is essential for businesses to make informed decisions. It provides insights into a company’s ability to pay off its short-term debts, and investors, creditors, and management use it to assess the company’s financial health. By analyzing the quick ratio, businesses can identify areas that need improvement and take corrective action to ensure their long-term financial stability.

About Author


MegaIncomeStream is a global resource for Business Owners, Marketers, Bloggers, Investors, Personal Finance Experts, Entrepreneurs, Financial and Tax Pundits, available online. egaIncomeStream has attracted millions of visits since 2012 when it started publishing its resources online through their seasoned editorial team. The Megaincomestream is arguably a potential Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, videos, features, and information, as well as a highly engaged global community for updates and niche conversation. The platform has diverse visitors, ranging from, bloggers, webmasters, students and internet marketers to web designers, entrepreneur and search engine experts.