How to analyze the capital structure of a company

Capital structure

The arrangement of the capital applies to the amount of debt and/or equity that a business requires to fund its activities and properties. The financial structure of a corporation is generally described as a debt-to - equity ratio.

In order to support the company, capital cost, acquisitions and other transactions, both debt and equity resources are used. Companies tend to create choices before determining to utilize leverage or equity to fund investments and management align them in order to achieve the best capital structure.

Optimum arrangement of capital

The optimum capital structure of a business is also described as a debt and equity proportion, contributing to a lower weighted average capital cost (WACC) for the business. In reality, this theoretical concept is often not applied, because organizations also have a political or conceptual interpretation of the optimal framework.

Debt and asset trends

The following illustrates the differences between debt and equity from the viewpoint of investors and the business. Debt holders take fewer chances and in the case of failure they first claim the properties of the company. They thus support a lower rate of return because, in contrast with equities, the company has a lower cost of capital.

Equity holders take the chance, but only after loan owners have been compensated out can they get the remaining profit. Instead, borrowers anticipate a better return rate and, thus, the tacit equity returns are greater than the debt expense.


The share of the debt-to - equity ratio can be conveniently identified. Shares consist of general, restricted shares, and retained earnings in a capital structure. This is called investment capital and occurs in the balance sheet shareholder portion. The capital spending and debt requires the composition of finance.


A conversation on debt is not as easy as that. Literature on finance also equates the obligations of a business to its assets; however the financial liabilities to the liabilities of its obligations are substantially differentiated. The second one represents the capital structure’s debt portion, while investment analysis analysts cannot settle about what represents responsibility for the debt.

Many observers describe the liability portion of the capital structure as a long-term debt balance sheet, but this concept is too simplified. Rather, short-term bonds (notes payable), long-term bonds and two-thirds (thumb rule) of the key sum of company leases and repaid common stock constitute the collateral part of a capital structure. For the estimation of the balance sheet of a business, experienced investors will be prudent to use the maximum overall debt amount.

Applied Capital structure ratios

Analysts typically use three criteria to determine the quality of the layout of a company. The first two are common metrics: the leverage ratio and a debt-to-equity ratio. It is a third factor, though, which gives crucial insights into a company's financial status. More obligations imply fewer resources in the leverage ratio and thus a more taxed position. This is an overly wide-ranging calculation which gives equal weight to company liabilities and debt.

The debt-to-equity ratio is questioned similarly. Real and non-current operating liabilities, in particular the latter, constitute forever liability with the firm. In comparison, in conjunction with loans, financial obligations are not tied to fixed contributions of capital or interest.

Optimal debt-to-equity partnership

No perfect debt-to-equity level may be seen as a benchmark. Depending on the sectors concerned, the line of business and growth, the concept of the sound mix of debt and equity differs.

But, since buyers are more inclined to participate in firms with solid balance sheets, the ideal mix may typically represent lower leverage and higher equity levels.

About Leverage

In finance, the defaulting two-edged sword is a prime example. Clever usage (debt) of leverage is nice. It enhances the supply of a company's financial capital for growth and development. It is also a reason for alarm not only too much debt but also very little debt. This may mean that an organization depends heavily on its equities and cannot manage its funds effectively.

The expectation of debt is that management can benefit more from borrowing funds than from interest costs and charges. However, a corporation wants a good record of meeting its numerous loan responsibilities if it is to bear a substantial volume of debt effectively.

Too much control is an issue

A too high-leveled business may inevitably find their creditors restricting their freedom to operate or, as a consequence of rising interest rates, reducing profitability. Moreover, during times of unfavorable economic circumstances, a corporation could have difficulties servicing its market and liability obligations.

Or, if the business environment is highly competitive, rival companies may prosper from dropping in and taking more market share from debt-laden businesses. Of instance, if a corporation were to seek bankruptcy, that might be a nightmare case.

Agencies with credit ranking

Luckily, though, outstanding tools are accessible to help assess if a corporation is too leveraged. Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Duff & Phelps, and Fitch are the main credit rating firms. These firms perform structured risk analyses on a company's capacity to pay off loan commitments principal and interest, mostly on bonds and commercial paper. Both credit scores are in one category: investment rating or non-investment rating.

These companies may have the credit scores of a corporation on their financial report on the footnotes. As an investor, you can be glad to see high-quality debt scores for firms that you see as investment prospects, and yet be cautious if the businesses you are evaluating are not granted a good rating.

Evaluate the following issues while performing a capital structure analysis:

How does certain borrowing arrangement like the debt-to - equity ratio influence the actual or expected financial structure? If there is a detrimental impact, all new debt cannot be obtained, or current debt must be reimbursed.

Are there high loan tranches that can be paid off? This includes exploring potential applications of the surplus cash that may be spent much more profitably.

Will the usage of cash in the business appear to decline? If so, is it more beneficial to give back cash to owners by acquiring securities or dividends?

Is it too impossible for the organization to secure loans in the future in the financial circumstances? If so, could reforming activities make sense to boost sustainability and thereby restore this alternate funding?

Will the Public Relations Officer want to set a market price floor? That can be done by introducing a mandatory stock repurchase plan anytime the stock price sinks below a certain level.

Will the business want its bonds to get any rating? If so, it would entail a more cautious reorganization of its funding mix to maximize the chances of buyers being repayable by the firm to buy the bond.


An equity and liability ratio in the balance sheet is the financial framework of an organization. Amount does not decide who is a healthier businessCapital structure, although lower levels of debt and higher levels of equity are desirable.



1147 Words


Oct 20, 2020


3 Pages

Looking for a professional

Order Now