What Is the Cash Ratio?
The cash ratio is a statistic for measuring a company’s liquidity. It compares a company’s total cash and cash equivalents to its current obligations. The indicator measures a company’s ability to repay short-term debt using cash or near-cash resources such as easily marketable securities. Creditors can use this information to assess how much money, if any, they are willing to lend to a company.
Cash Ratio Calculator
When compared to other liquidity ratios, the cash ratio is a more conservative evaluation of a company’s ability to cover its debts and commitments since it only analyses cash or cash-equivalent holdings, disregarding other assets such as accounts receivable.
The cash ratio of a corporation is computed using the following formula:
Cash Ratio = Cash + Cash Equivalents / Current Liabilities
What the Cash Ratio Can Tell You?
The cash ratio is the most commonly used indicator for measuring a company’s liquidity. This indicator represents the company’s ability to pay all current creditors without selling or liquidating new assets if required.
A cash ratio is a figure that is more or less than one. If the result of the ratio computation is 1, the corporation has exactly the same amount of current liabilities as cash and cash equivalents to pay down those debts.
The cash ratio is akin to an indicator of a company’s value in the worst-case scenario, such as when it is about to go out of business. It informs creditors and analysts of the value of current assets that can be turned into cash quickly, as well as the percentage of current liabilities that these cash and near-cash assets can cover.
The US Small Business Administration urges enterprises to use this and other liquidity ratios to maintain appropriate levels of liquidity, capacity, and collateral, especially when building relationships with lenders.
When a company seeks a loan, lenders will check financial statements to determine its health.
Calculations for Less Than One
If a company’s cash ratio is less than one, it has more current liabilities than cash and cash equivalents. It implies that there isn’t enough cash on hand to pay off short-term debt. This may not be a bad thing if the company’s balance sheets are skewed by factors such as long credit terms with suppliers, well-managed inventory, and restricted credit offered to customers.
More than one calculation
When a company’s cash ratio surpasses one, it suggests it has more cash and cash equivalents than current commitments. In this situation, the firm has enough cash to pay down all short-term debt while still having cash on hand.
While a higher cash ratio is generally good, it may also signal that the company is inefficiently spending cash or is not taking advantage of low-cost borrowing options. Rather of investing in profitable businesses or expanding the business. A high cash ratio may also signal that a company is concerned about future profitability and is building up a capital cushion to protect itself.
Cash Ratio Example
Apple, Inc. had $37.1 billion in cash and $26.8 billion in marketable securities at the end of 2021. Apple has $63.9 billion in cash on hand to pay off short-term debt right now. Apple was responsible for approximately $123.5 billion in short-term debt, which included accounts payable and other current liabilities. 2
Short-Term Ratio = $63.9 million divided by $123.5 billion is 0.52.
Apple’s operating structure highlights how the company uses debt to grow, takes advantage of favourable credit conditions, and prioritises cash for expansion. Despite having billions of dollars in cash on hand, the firm has almost twice as many short-term liabilities as long-term obligations.
The Cash Ratio’s Limitations
The cash ratio is rarely used in financial reporting or by analysts performing fundamental analysis on a company.
It is unrealistic to expect a corporation to be able to cover current liabilities using extra cash and near-cash assets. Large amounts of cash on a company’s balance sheet are frequently considered poor asset utilization, as this money may be returned to shareholders or used elsewhere to generate higher returns.
When compared to industry and rival averages, or when looking at changes in the same company over time, the cash ratio is more revealing. Certain industries have higher current liabilities and lower cash reserves than others.
The cash ratio is most useful when studied across time; a company’s metric may be low right now but has been improving in the right direction over the last year. The number also overlooks seasonality and the timing of big future cash inflows, which could lead to an overestimation of a company during a single successful month or an overestimate during the offseason.
A cash ratio less than one may indicate that a company is in financial difficulty. On the other hand, a low cash ratio may indicate a company’s specific strategy, which calls for low cash reserves to maintain low—for example, because funds are being used for expansion.
What Is an Adequate Cash Ratio?
The cash ratio will differ by industry because certain companies rely more heavily on short-term loans and finance (i.e. sectors that rely on quick inventory turnover). A cash ratio of one or above indicates that a company has enough cash and cash equivalents to pay down all short-term debts in full. A ratio larger than one is normally preferable, but a ratio less than 0.5 is considered hazardous because the company has twice as much short-term debt as cash.
What Does the Cash Ratio Mean?
The cash ratio is one method for determining a company’s liquidity. The ability of a person or a firm to pay current obligations is referred to as liquidity. When a company has a large amount of cash on hand, it can pay its short-term bills when they become due. When a company’s liquidity is low, it finds it difficult to pay short-term bills.
How Do You Calculate Your Cash Ratio?
The cash ratio is calculated by dividing cash by current liabilities. Cash equivalents, such as marketable securities, are included in the calculation’s cash portion.
Is it better to have a high cash ratio or a low cash ratio?
A high cash ratio is frequently preferred. This means a company has more cash on hand, fewer short-term liabilities, or both. It also implies that a company will be able to pay off current debts when they come due.
It is possible that a company’s cash ratio is too high. A company’s cash management may be inefficient, and it may take advantage of favorable lending terms. Lowering a company’s cash ratio may be advantageous in some cases.
What Can a Business Do to Increase Its Cash Ratio?
The cash ratio is calculated by dividing cash and cash equivalents by short-term obligations. A company can improve its cash ratio by striving for greater cash on hand in the event of a short-term liquidation or payment demand. This includes turning through inventory more quickly, holding fewer goods, and avoiding prepaying expenses.
A corporation, on the other hand, can reduce its short-term liabilities. If credit terms are no longer advantageous, the company may begin paying expenses with cash. The company can also evaluate its spending and try to reduce total costs (thereby reducing payment obligations).