Profitability Ratios

The profitability ratios are used to measure how well a business is performing in terms of profit. The profitability ratios are considered to be the basic bank financial ratios. In other words, the profitability ratios give the various scales to measure the success of the firm.
The profitability ratios can also be defined as the financial measurement that evaluates the capacity of a business to produce yield against the expenses and costs of business over a particular time period. If a company is having a higher profitability ratio compared to its competitor, it can be inferred that the company is doing better than that particular competitor.

The higher or same profitability ratio of a company compared to its previous period also indicates that the company is doing well. The return on assets, profit margin and return on equity are the examples of profitability ratios.

The profitability ratio should be compared with the relevant time period. The profitability ratio of the industries that experience operations on the seasonal basis should be compared properly.
For example, in case of the retail industry, high revenue is earned during the Christmas season. Hence comparing the profit margin of the 4th quarter with the 1st quarter of a retailer will not give clear picture of the profitability of the retail business.

Hence in order to judge the profitability of the retailer perfectly, the profit margin of the 4th quarter of a retailer should be compared with the profit margin of the 4th quarter of the previous year.

The measures of profitability ratios are:

Gross Profit Margin – It gives the value of gross profit earned by the company over sale. The mathematical formula for gross profit margin is:

Gross Profit Margin = (Total sales – Cost of sold goods)/ Sales

Return on Equity – It gives the value of profit that is earned against every invested dollar in the stock of the firm. The mathematical formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Income / Shareholder Equity

Return on Assets – It tells how the assets of the firm are used most effectively to earn profit. The mathematical formula for return on assets is:

Return on Assets = Net Income / Total assets

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Last Updated on : 27th June 2013

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