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Definition of

capitalization ratio


proportion of firm’s value in capital the proportion of a company's value represented by debt, stock, assets, and other items.

By comparing debt to total capitalization, these ratios provide a glimpse of a company's long-term stability and ability to withstand losses and business downturns.

A company's capitalization ratio can be expressed in two ways:

= Long-term debt / (Long-term debt + Owners' equity)


= Total debt / (Total debt + Preferred + Common equity)

For example, a company whose long-term debt totals $5,000 and whose owners hold equity worth $3,000 would have a capitalization ratio of:

5,000 / (5,000 + 3,000) = 5,000 / 8,000 = 0.625

Both expressions of the ratio are also referred to as component percentages, since they compare a firm's debt with either its total capital (debt plus equity) or its equity capital. They readily indicate how reliant a firm is on debt financing. Capitalization ratios need to be evaluated over time, and compared with other data and standards. Care should be taken when comparing companies in different industries or sectors. The same figures that appear to be low in one industry can be very high in another.

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Definitions of ’capitalization ratio’ and meaning of ’capitalization ratio’ are from the book publication, QFINANCE – The Ultimate Resource, © 2009 Bloomsbury Information Ltd. Find definitions for ’capitalization ratio’ and other financial terms with our online QFINANCE Financial Dictionary.

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